Lifestyle factors, change behavior and independent living all have a direct impact on independent living later in life. In a 20-year study on change behavior that followed nearly 6,500 middle-aged and elderly people, those who smoked, were obese or physically inactive, or had diabetes or uncontrolled high blood pressure when the study began were much more likely to require admission to a nursing home later on.
Middle-age smoking increased the chance of a nursing home admission by 56%, physical inactivity by 40%, and uncontrolled high blood pressure by 35%. Diabetes more than tripled the risk. Middle-age obesity was also associated with higher risk, but the association wasn’t statistically significant — that is, the numbers could have resulted from chance. All of these conditions can, of course, be modified with lifestyle changes.
Even after a setback such as a stroke, lifestyle can make a difference.
A study in the Journal of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Psychiatry (February 2012), which involved more than 15,000 American adults with a history of stroke, found that regular exercise and not smoking were each associated with a reduced risk of dying from any cause. Moreover, the more healthy behaviors that participants embraced (for example, eating five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables in addition to exercising and not smoking), the lower their death rate for all causes.
If you feel that you would like to challenge your lifestyle and need someone to coach, inspire and guide you, please contact me Christel, and together we can embark on setting new goals and changing your life for the better.