Many retirement living seniors work hard to be proactive about their health by exercising, eating a healthy diet and getting all of their vitamins and minerals.
However, can your overall outlook on life be equally important when it comes to preventing and delaying the onset of certain diseases?
A new report entitled Rush Memory and Aging Project, which was published in the Archives of General Psychology, found that individuals who feel that their lives serve a purpose are less likely to experience mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers discovered that of the 900 seniors who participated in the study, all of whom lived in retirement living communities, those who felt more engaged and needed were 2.4 times less likely to require Alzheimer's care than those who seemed to be more aimless.
"Purpose in life . . . has long been hypothesized to protect against adverse health outcomes," the study's authors wrote. "Even small behavioral modifications ultimately may translate into an increased sense of intentionality, usefulness and relevance."
Advancements in our knowledge of Alzheimer's disease are important, as the Mayo Clinic reports that approximately 50 percent of those over the age of 85 have the condition.