Skip to content

    50+: Live Better, Longer

    Font Size

    Elders Reveal Keys to Healthy Aging

    Good Moods, Sharp Vision, Healthy Hearing All Help, Study Shows
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Jan. 5, 2006 -- If you're living, you're aging, but that's not such a bad thing, a new study shows.

    The study of nearly 3,500 men and women age 65 and older started a decade ago and is still going. Here's what the researchers have learned so far:

    • Most people -- even after age 85 -- still lived independently and reported being in excellent or good health.
    • People with good vision, good hearing, and good moods viewed their health favorably.
    • Having close ties to family and friends is also a plus.

    The bottom line: Aging brings change, but not necessarily a dismal, lonely decline.

    The study appears online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.-->

    Healthy Elders

    Aging isn't what it's cracked up to be, the study shows.

    "Older people are healthy," says researcher Truls Ostbye, MD, PhD, in a news release. Ostbye is a professor in Duke University's department of community and family medicine.

    "We hear a lot about disease and disability among the elderly, but the quality of life in older individuals is actually, by most measures used, high up to the oldest of age," Ostbye says.

    That's not to say that aging is a piece of cake.

    Many serious health problems -- including high blood pressure, cancer, and stroke -- become more common with age. Vision, hearing, and memory often fade, and personal losses or isolation can bring depression late in life (or any time).

    Today on WebMD

    Eating for a longer, healthier life.
    woman biking
    How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
    womans finger tied with string
    Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
    smiling after car mishap
    9 things no one tells you about getting older.
    fast healthy snack ideas
    how healthy is your mouth
    dog on couch
    doctor holding syringe
    champagne toast
    Two women wearing white leotards back to back
    Man feeding woman
    two senior women laughing