You may be surprised to know, but exposure to positive news stories has been proven to provide real health benefits. The positivity which comes from good news is lifting the spirits of those who read it, which is especially important for care and residential home residents.
BRINGING RESIDENTS TOGETHER
News is something that can bring people together, it can start conversations and boost interactions. Again, in care homes and for those who may be in dependent living, the boosts can be vital.
Content directly tailored to a community, especially one with distinct needs as those in care or nursing homes, can see residents and even care givers brought together through the familiar names, places and pictures beaming out from the pages.
It is sad that bad news travels fast, but good news can hit the spot too. The positive thinking and attitudes that stem from giving care home residents access to a source of regular news can be striking. The effects are so powerful, that according to a study by Johns Hopkins University, it could even make a difference to heart health.
MASSIVE BOOST TO HEALTH
Care residents who are prompted to think positively have greater satisfaction in their relationships, according to the study. The findings from Johns Hopkins experts reveal that those with a more positive outlook are 13 percent less likely than their negative counterparts to have a heart attack or other coronary event.
The study determined “positive” versus “negative” outlook using a survey tool that assesses a person’s cheerfulness, energy level, anxiety levels and satisfaction with health and overall life.
Researchers suspect that people who are more positive may be better protected against the inflammatory damage of stress. Another possibility is that hope and positivity help people make better health and life decisions and focus more on long-term goals. Studies also find that negative emotions can weaken immune response.
POSITIVITY AND HEALTH BENEFITS ON THE ELDERLY
There is definitely a strong link between “positivity” and health, and there is a link between the effects that good news can have on those areas. Positive attitudes improve outcomes and life satisfaction across a spectrum of conditions—including traumatic brain injury, stroke and brain tumours.
For care home residents, or those in assisted living, it can be hard to remain positive. Moving from home, perhaps separated from loved ones can be a traumatic experience – one that is made worse if there is no positive stimulus.
So what are the three top tips to turn those frowns upside down and to think more positively?
Smile more! It may sound daft, but a University of Kansas study found that smiling—even fake smiling—reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations. So try a few minutes of reading uplifting news stories, and get that smile shining.
Practice reframing: Instead of stressing, it is important that people are able to make the best of their situations. Being able to read positive news or about happy events can really focus energies.
Build resilience: Resilience for care home residents, or those in retirement communities can mean the ability to adapt to stressful and/or negative situations and losses. Being positive can play a huge part in that mindset.
We think the answer is to give residents access to tailored news, and to allow communities to develop bonds based on positivity. What do you think? We’d love to hear your views.