Monday 24 November 2014

Listening to One Direction can help beat old age blues

John Bingham

Published 26/08/2014 | 02:30

1D Dose: Niall Horan
1D Dose: Niall Horan

They have millions of fans around the world - although admittedly most are under the age of 12. But now experts on the process of ageing are recommending a dose of One Direction as part of their prescription for a happy and successful old age.

The boy band makes an unlikely appearance in an 11-point plan aimed at the nation's 50-year-olds, listing practical steps they should consider taking now, potentially up to two decades before they retire, to prepare for later life. The list was compiled by an alliance of some of Britain's most respected charities and think-tanks working in the field, including Age UK, the Alzheimer's Society and the research group the International Longevity Centre.

Its advice includes prudent steps such as paying off debts, switching to a healthier diet and discussing issues such as power of attorney. But it also includes suggestions likely to be overlooked by many, such as building friendship circles closer to home and outside work.

Top of the list is a call for people to get fitter in late middle age.

It suggests steps such as using a bicycle to travel or going to the park more often. Other health-related recommendations include stopping smoking, or at least cutting down, as well as drinking more water - while easing off on the alcohol.

It also suggests psychological preparations such as making a point of talking about ageing and beginning to view it as a positive process. "Too few of us talk about ageing as anything but a passing joke," the experts say. Similarly, their list includes a call to "keep up to date with the kids", not just by being online and embracing new technology but by actively engaging with younger people as much as possible.

"Keep your mind active and engaged, from new digital technology through to new attitudes," they say.

"Make sure you aren't missing out and take every opportunity to talk to younger people. Try to get yourself online. Listen to One Direction (at least once)." ( ©Independent News Service)

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