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Feeling Older Can Increase Risk of Hospitalization

By Ilse du Bernard, 9:00 am on

Feeling older may increase the odds of ending up in the hospital. This is the conclusion of recent research on how perception of age can impact health. Involving more than 10,000 adults throughout the United States, a comprehensive study goes a step further than previous research by suggesting that feeling older can also increase the risk of being hospitalized.

Progressive Health Decline

Researchers at Florida State University compared data from three studies involving perception of age and came to the conclusion that feeling older increases the risk of hospitalization within the next 2 to 10 years by anywhere from 10 to 25 percent. The reason for the correlation may be a progressive health decline that can affect:

  • Overall physical health
  • Responses to medical treatments
  • All aspects of mental health

Subjective Age and Behavior

An extensive survey that was used as part of the study on subjective age and health evaluated several factors, including prior hospitalizations, previously diagnosed conditions, and a self-assessment of symptoms of depression. According to Kingwood home care agencies, the findings reflect previous studies suggesting people who report feeling older than their actual age tend to:

  • Avoid preventative checkups
  • Lead sedentary lifestyles
  • Fail to report worsening symptoms

Overall Health Outlook

“Feels like” age is something of a double-edged sword in the sense that seniors with chronic conditions can shift their perception based on how they’re responding to treatment and the overall outlook with their condition. At the same time, not paying attention to diet and exercise can also contribute to several medical issues that may result in a negative health outlook.

For seniors, in particular, feeling older can impact all aspects of health, from post-surgery healing to the rate of cognitive decline. For doctors, the research provides an added incentive to encourage patients to take an active role in their health by getting regular exercise and watching their diet.

Discover ways to promote senior health from the friendly staff at Home Care Assistance. We are a trusted provider of live-in, hourly, and respite care in Kingwood, and all of our care services include the use of proprietary care methods designed to engage seniors mentally, physically, and emotionally. Schedule a free in-home consultation by calling 832-412-1345 today!