What a surprise! More money being spent to prove something that Grannies’ common sense could tell you for nothing.
Yet another research study in America, at the University of Kentucky – this time by sticking needles into students – not old people thank goodness. The results suggest that staying positive helps boost the immune system and keeps you healthy. The study took a year to establish that more optimistic people had stronger immune systems and could therefore be less susceptible to viral infections.
Blindingly obvious and common sense the results may be, nonetheless, they are important. So often our social policies lead older people into unhappy lifestyles and then we wonder why so many suffer them so much ill health.
We surround the elderly with negative images of growing old, retire them to a life of inactivity and daytime TV. Constantly tell them they are a burden on society. Hardly surprising then that so many older people succumb to this pessimistic outlook on life and present themselves at their GP’s surgery, or worse still, end up occupying one of the almost two thirds of all hospital beds that are taken up by older people.
The implication of this little research exercise could be far reaching if taken seriously and acted upon in the development of future social policy for older people.
Reduction in GP visits would save £000’s in the drugs prescribed just to make you feel better.
Reduction in hospital stays might follow if you had something to look forward to when you get out. This could save £000,000’s.
Encourage older people to continue working part-time. Their more positive outlook on life will help their employer and improve the older person’s health.
A small amount of money invested in promoting positive approaches to ageing could lead of massive dividends in terms of healthier lifestyles for older people. This would also free up hospital beds and hours of GP time with significant financial saving to the NHS.
Can it be that simple ?
Granny used to think so.