Researchers have greeted this news with some anxiety – because of the impact of growing health care costs for seniors – but also with a dose of optimism.
Susan McDaniel, the Canada Research Chair in Global Population and Life Course, cites statistics that show Baby Boomers have taken better care of their health and also hold a comfortable portion of Canada’s wealth to fend for themselves in retirement.
But the nagging concern remains that the aging population will become a burden on the health care system. This concern is embedded in a view that aging inevitably leads to a decline in health and quality of life.
Yet, some studies indicate that aging may be governed more by our thoughts than solely by our body clock.
Ellen Langer, a noted psychologist, conducted a study where she subjected healthy septuagenarians – but on whom aging still had left its mark – to a ‘time-warp’ experience of an earlier era. She coined the phrase ‘counter-clockwise’ experiment. At the end of their 5-day stay, the subjects emerged apparently rejuvenated – sitting taller, with greater manual dexterity and in one case, improved sight.
Langer concluded from her research on aging: “It is not primarily our physical selves that limit us, but rather our mindset about our physical limits.”
An annual visit to the optometrist left him with a diagnosis of the onset of cataracts. Don was then scheduled for a follow-up appointment in a few months. He chose the time between appointments for quiet prayer and study of spiritual writings – as he has found this effective in caring for his health for many years.
Turning to the Bible and the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, he gained deeper understanding of spiritual laws that produce and govern health. Don saw that God, the Creator, is ageless; therefore as the image, or reflection, of this Creator, he naturally expressed health and harmony that didn’t have to be affected by passing time.
It became even clearer to him that the true and divine Principle underlying laws of health didn’t dictate decline and deterioration, but as the Bible promises: “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing.” (Psalm 92:12-14 NKJV)
At the appointed return visit, the optometrist, after careful review of a digital image of Don’s eyes as well as a close manual exam, stated that there was no trace of the problem. Although the doctor was totally amazed, Don was not. Health, including his eyesight, was just normal, no matter how many years had passed.
Over a hundred years ago, Eddy wrote, ”The measurement of life by solar years robs youth and gives ugliness to age…Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.”
The benefits of that shaping are undeniable.
You can also read this article on several Metroland Community sites such as Niagara This Week.