Berlin - Good news for seniors and everyone who is concerned about old age has various Berlin research institutions: According to this, mental performance and well-being are preserved longer today than they were 20 years ago. Today's 75-year-olds are on average much more mentally fitter than the 75-year-olds from the mid-1990s. At the same time, the generation of today's 75-year-olds is characterized by higher level of well-being and is overall more satisfied with their life.
This shows one, among them the, die, das (MPIB) and the (SOEP). The researchers used the data of 708 over 60-year-old Berliners who were tested for their mental performance as part of the "Berlin Age Study II" and were asked about their well-being.
They compared these with the data from the previous study from the early 1990s and identified 161 “statistical twin pairs”, largely consisting of one person of the same gender from each of the two studies that are as similar as possible in age and education. In addition, they took diagnosed diseases into account in the evaluation.
"The gains that we measured in terms of cognitive performance and well-being in Berlin are considerable and of great importance for the quality of life in old age", commented Ulman Lindenberger, Director at the research area "Developmental Psychology" of the MPIB. The scientists link the gains to socio-cultural factors such as educational level. Better physical fitness and the associated greater independence in old age also contribute to increased well-being.
"However, we expect that the observed positive effects on mental performance and well-being will decrease significantly at the end of life," adds Denis Gerstorf, professor of developmental psychology at the institute for psychology from the Humboldt University of Berlin. After an increase in good years of life, rapid and significant decline in performance and well-being at the end of life can still be expected, according to Gerstorf.