Welcome to the future! We all somehow managed to survive one of the worst years ever. 2020! So much went wrong last year but we are still here in 2021. With all the bad news globally last year, there is some positive and exciting news. Despite seniors being hit hardest by Covid-19, seniors are now living longer compared to 1950. This is exciting news! Many medical advancements have been made and people are making lifestyle changes all of which has affected this upward trend in longevity.
The average life expectancy of a man in 1950 was 65.6 years. The average life expectancy of a woman in 1950 was 71.1 years. Jump ahead to 2021 and those numbers have increased significantly. Men now have a life expectancy of 76.1 years while women have a life expectancy of 81.1 years. First, let’s consider the significant advancements in medical technology. People are no longer passing away from common illnesses unless it is lack of treatment on their part. We now have safer and more accurate medical practices, procedures and treatments, so illnesses can be treated more effectively leading to higher chances of recovery. Another advancement is the improvement in vaccines whereby certain illness have been eradicated or a greater degree of protection is provided minimizing the severity of certain illness like influenza. Another medical advancement is the increased knowledge and rigors of schooling and medical training modern day medical professionals are expected to maintain. This coupled with mandatory continuing education ensures that their medical and technological knowledge base is as current as possible.
Research is constantly being done in the field of preventative medicine such as proper nutrition and exercise and the effects they have on your mind, body and overall well-being. This research is leading seniors to take better care of themselves. Unfortunately, many realize that their lifestyle choices of their younger years many have not been the best. Thankfully, there are medications and procedures to help seniors correct many of the long-term effects of poor diet and or lack of exercise. Medical professionals along with researchers are coming up with new ways to keep you healthy, help with mobility and provide you additional stamina to keep up with your family, grandchildren and your significant other.
As discussed, one of the main reasons why seniors are living longer is an improved understanding of the impact of a balanced nutritional foundation. In the past, meals were mostly cooked at home by your loving mother. Items for meals were bought fresh daily. There were outdoor markets where you could buy fresh produce from the local gardener. Milk used to be delivered daily to the home in glass containers. The key takeaway is that the milk was fresh and not sourced from cows treated with hormones. The local butcher always had the fresh cuts of all types of meat locally sourced. Those local farmers took pride in their herd to make sure people got a good wholesome product in the end. The point here is you knew exactly where your food came from. It was fresh, tasted great and not laden with preservatives nor was it highly processed. There has been a significant movement over the last several years to go back to buying locally grown meats and vegetables greatly improving overall health.
Seniors are cooking at home more now for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that many restaurants are either closed now or have limited seating restrictions due to COVID-19. Many seniors also don’t like to or can no longer drive. Now many seniors can order food and have it delivered to their doorstep. Many seniors have found a renewed joy in preparing and cooking a great meal for either themselves, their spouse or their extended family. People of all ages are trying their best to get away from consuming prepackaged or processed foods that will usually have chemical additives, preservatives and high amounts of sodium. Research has been done to show that sodium in food can have an impact on your health negatively. Increased sodium intake has been linked to swelling, water retention and high blood pressure or hypertension.
Another motivating factor for seniors to live longer are their grandchildren! They want to be able to keep up with them and see them grow up. Seniors have a lot to look forward to in their golden years. They have new places to explore or old ones to revisit. They have more people in their family to love and celebrate with.