Krystal Warmoth, from the University
of Exeter, believes that older people who categorise themselves as
elderly and decrepit are more likely to behave as though they are.
She interviewed 29 older people in the southwest of England and asked them about their experiences of aging and fragility.
discovered that an elderly person’s attitude could lead to a loss of
interest in participating in social and physical activities, poor
health, and reduced quality of life.
respondent summed up the findings: ‘If people think that they are old
and frail, they will act like they're old and frail,’ she said.
Ms Warmoth also discovered there can
be a cycle of decline whereby perceiving oneself as frail can lead to a
person disengaging from activities that could reduce the likelihood of
frailty - such as physical exercise.
This, in turn, makes them more likely to become frail and to have a poor quality of life.
Ms Warmoth said: ‘This study gives an
insight into the role of psychological factors in older adults’ health
and activity levels.’
However, plenty of elderly people are clearly following Ms Warmoth’s advice.