A recent study found that all senior participants, 70 and older thought they looked about 10 years younger than their chronological age. Elderly women perceived their appearance to be closer to their actual age than men.
“People generally felt quite a bit younger than they actually were, and they also showed relatively high levels of satisfaction with aging over the time period studied,” said researcher Jacqui Smith, a psychologist at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.
She added, “Perhaps feeling about 13 years younger is an optimal illusion in old age.”
Smith and her colleagues crunched data collected from survey of 516 men and women 70 years of age and older who participated in the Berlin Aging Study.
Some of the oldest participants reported feeling younger than the average in the study. This could be due to the fact that older individuals experience less overall decline with age. Seniors in poor health reported a smaller gap between how young they felt and their actual age.
Regarding appearances, the study asked, “How old do you feel when you look at yourself in a miror?”.
The elderly women perceived their appearance being closer to their actual age.
“Women saw themselves as about four years older than their male peers,” Smith said. “There are several likely reasons for this gender gap in subjective physical age. One is that women may be more aware of their appearance than men, especially given the negative stereotypes of older bodies.”
Another possible reason for the gender difference is that men typically die at a younger age compared with women. So the oldest men would’ve been in the best physical shape to live so long.
“Those men who live for a very long time are the fittest men, so they’re usually much stronger than the women physically, and they may actually look better than many 80-year-old women physically,” Smith said.
The staff at Smile Senior Care is pleased to work with their seniors that are 70 years young. Shouldn’t we all feel young at heart.