For years, researchers have known there there was a relationship between health levels and education, but there has always been some uncertainty about this data. It has remained unclear exactly why those that have higher levels of education stay healthier for longer, but researchers have come up with a number of different hypotheses about why they think this is the case. Some have speculated that higher education levels lead to better paying jobs and those jobs have better health insurance associated with them. Other experts have ventured that higher levels of education imply that those individuals make better choices that lead to better overall health as they age.
Regardless of the reasoning why, a new study based out of the Southern hemisphere has shown that people without a college degree are at twice the risk of suffering from a heart attack. It is one of the largest studies of its kind, and it confirms a lot of information that was already hinted at from other studies based in the United States. This new study was based out of Australia and was conducted by the Sax Institute. It was a very thorough look at the issue, following over a quarter of a million people in the state of New South Wales aged 45 and up. Individuals were tracked for a period of five years.
While this study might not make sense at first, it does hold a very important implication: many heart attacks are completely preventable. Sure, a college degree isn’t the right move for many individuals, and this alone doesn’t actually do much when it comes to health. But all of the things that come along with being educated–better paying jobs, more information about healthcare and exercise, and other things–are easily accessible to everyone.
As you go about planning the senior care of a loved one, this kind of information might not seem very helpful to you. However, even though you can’t go back in time and give your mom or dad or grandparent a college degree, you can help them to live healthier lives now. Some things are actually very easy to do. Make sure that they are going to the doctor’s office for their regular checkups, help them keep track of their medications and ensure that they are not missing doses, and if they are smokers, do your best to encourage them to quite. If you are not around them, an in-home care professional can also assist with these tasks.
Exercise and other preventative methods are an important part of maintaining health, even for seniors. Starting healthy practices early in life is obviously a much better way to avoid health problems in our senior years. But if that is not an option, then making changes now can still have a positive impact upon health. If you have questions about what the best way to make healthy changes for elderly individuals is, please feel free to consult with a doctor or senior care professional that can point you in the right direction.