Looking at latest facts and figures in the UK and around the world, there are many good reasons to have friends from younger generations. Here are the top 10.
Older is younger. Older people are literally younger than previous generations. A study of 75–80 year olds showed they were stronger, faster, have better memory, reasoning and fluency than the same age-group from thirty years ago. Though you may be older in years, you are more likely to be better able to ‘keep up’!
Older is fitter. Fewer young people are running Marathons while the percentage of over 60s participants has grown with a whopping 38% increase in 90–99 year olds! There are now many extreme sports sites catering to senior clientele. You can match younger people physically too!
Protect your health. You may not be an athlete, but staying active is highly beneficial to health and longevity, and young people can help you do that. Consistently active adults reduce the risk of heart-related death by 42%, even starting in middle age, and regular exercise reduces the risk of developing Alzheimers by an incredible 45%!
Feel Rejuvenated. Hanging out with energetic and positive young people can help you forget your age limitations. Just feeling younger than your years comes with a lower risk of depression and hospitalisation for illness.
Stay optimistic. Many young people at the start of their life journeys are brimming with motivation. If you have slipped into monotony, their positivity can help shake you out of it. One US study showed optimism can give both men and women 15% longer lifespans.
Get connected. If you’re 65 or over in the UK you can now hope to spend around half your remaining life in good health. In a society of rapid technological evolution, culture and opportunity, you need to stay connected to those at the forefront of it, to get the most out of it.
Diminishing age gaps. Age boundaries are blurring. At fifty Mick Jagger had his first grandchild while Naomi Campbell became a first-time mum. Younger and older people are attracted to more of the same events, like literary festivals, walks, yoga and holidays. Age gaps no longer present barriers to shared activities or enjoyment.
Banish loneliness. The fastest growing divorce rate is for couples married over thirty years (the baby boomer generation age 57–79), up almost 20% in just two decades. Loneliness can lead to lethargy and depression. Socialising is the best way out of it, and why confine yourself to friendships among contemporaries if you can open up a world of younger friendships too.
Express your inner child. If you were a youth of the rocking ’60s or ’70s, and are still in good health, you are probably feeling as young and vital as ever. You need to find ways to channel it and energetic people to express it with.
Share skills. Young people can teach you a lot of new skills especially in the technology arena, and your breadth of life experience can help them too.
Andrea Frankenthal is the founder of Hapipod.com, a matching site for compatible homesharers to connect and exchange time or help for affordable rooms. Hapipod enables people of all ages and means to enhance their home lives.
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