The University of Sydney released a study that looked at how the way people live in their 60s can affect whether they need to residential aged care.
The study found that if people in their 60s are not active, smoke, eat poorly, or have trouble sleeping, they are more likely to end up in residential aged care. The researchers looked at data from over 125,000 Australians who were 60 or older. They put these people into groups based on their lifestyle habits.
Here’s what they found:
- People in the group with the unhealthiest habits had a 43% higher chance of needing to be admitted to residential aged care compared to those with the healthiest habits.
- The risk was even higher for people aged 60-64 who had bad habits. They were more than twice as likely to needing to be admitted to residential aged care.
- Smoking was the worst habit that leads people needing to be admitted to residential aged care.
However, it’s important to know that this study can’t say for sure that bad habits directly cause people to need aged care. There are some things the study couldn’t look at, like whether people changed their habits over time or why they needed to be admitted to residential aged care.
If we encourage older people to make healthier choices like quitting smoking, being more active, and getting better sleep, it could help them stay independent and not need residential aged care. This would also lighten the load on the aged care system.
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