A team of College of Human Sciences researchers are peering in the tricks of living and aging well. By studying lives well-lived, they’re addressing global challenges affecting people’s health.
“We focus considerable attention on whole-person wellness,” said Jennifer Margrett, an associate at work professor in human development and family studies and director of Iowa State’s interdepartmental gerontology program. “Wellness concerns one or more section of functioning which include physical health or cognition. It’s thinking of social support and interaction, about supporting optimal aging in all of its aspects.”
As part of this holistic target wellness, the exceptional longevity lab led by University Professor Peter Martin studies centenarians – those who have reached their 100th birthday. Martin’s study of exceptional longevity in rural environments will include a parallel study on Osaka, Japan.
“You can’t locate grumpy 100-year-olds,” said Peggy Lockhart, a graduate research assistant and doctoral student who works in Martin’s lab. “They’re resilient; their outlook is positive. Could not remember any of them saying it was not best to enhance their lives.”
Unlocking this outlook on life makes perfect to supporting all Iowans, in particular the state’s oldest residents. The Iowa Department on Aging predicts that by 2050, the number of Iowans over age 65 increases to 683,251 – a 39 percent increase over 2015.
Nationwide, Iowa had the fifth-largest share of the population that was 65 and more than truly, based on the U.S. Census.
“Looking for the total well being the type of that happen to be 100 is very important to all of us,” Martin said. “There are implications for the whole indications of aging whenever we can learn something from those who’re having fun at 100.”
Glen Yarger is truly one of the individuals. The previous Cyclone wrestler – very proud of his alma mater and the 1934 Big Six championship win under coach Hugo “Oto” Otopalik – greets website visitors to Regency Retirement Residence of Boone that has a warm smile as well as a firm handshake.
“I want to be with friends and neighbors,” he said. “Moving this is the neatest thing that ever happened.”
Martin said that Yarger’s positive outlook on life may happen among today’s centenarians.
“An overwhelming majority of the centenarians we speak to feel positive,” Martin said. “There are incredibly health and medical limitations to be 100, but you will find A hundred years of experiences them to enjoy to mention. Their robust, vibrant personalities are contagious.”
Gathering the analysis uncovers story after story – and give insights into aging well.
“The centenarians we’ve spoken with are happy mainly because they understand what to spotlight,” Martin said. “The critical for the issue of what is essential in life often comes more quickly when we’re as well as senior citizens because they’ve learned tips on how to get accustomed to life’s challenges.”
Margrett has witnessed this interaction firsthand in her own GERON 510 course, – a seminar attended by first-year students, 80-year-olds, and everyone concerning – and LIFE, extra time program led by younger adults which offers low-cost, physical activity programming to older adults.
“We be aware that for many people of twelfth grade or college age, there’s a value to reaching the elderly,” Margrett said. “They show an advantage with regards to their own individual expectations for aging, reducing ageism. Having meaningful intergenerational contact is in fact essential in addressing aging from both personal and societal perspectives.”