Those who had been told they were stronger than their peers improved on the second test, while there was no improvement in the control group. Another study found that people aged over 55 felt older than their actual age after they were asked to do a memory test, though there was no change in the self-perceived age of younger participants. A University of Sydney Associate Professor in health and ageing, Lee-Fay Low, says people feel younger if they are encouraged to feel masterful.
The implication for public policy is that older people should be supported to do things for themselves, rather than made into passive recipients of care. Low suggests home-care packages could be more focused on re-abling people - replacing cleaners with cleaning helpers, for instance, who build physical exercises into cleaning the house together. Clift believes her desire for independence will far outlast its utility.
Turning 50: Realizing that Age Really is Just a Number
But still, she knows her limitations. Age is just a number: study proves you're only as old as you feel. The Sydney Morning Herald. Close menu.
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