Living a longer, healthier life just became a little easier.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 11:14AM
Only 25 per cent of life expectancy is accounted for by family genes.
We’ve all heard that positivity is the key to happiness, but did you know it’s also a major factor in how well we age?
There is a relatively new branch of psychiatry called positive psychiatry that takes into account brain health, resilience and well-being throughout your lifetime. By adjusting our habits we can lower the risk of dementia, depression, anxiety, and other chronic medical conditions including cardiovascular disease.
That is the focus of the – one of the first international initiatives in applied positive psychiatry. Fountain of Health is a non-profit organization that started in Nova Scotia through Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia Health Authority. It has grown to garner a national and international presence.
Throwing away negative stereotypes around aging, is one of the most effective ways to stay healthy as you age. In fact, Fountain of Health recommends five key actions when it comes to positive aging. They are:
- Staying socially active
- Changing how you think about aging
- Staying physically active
- Taking care of your mental health
- Continuing to learn new things
Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy is the driving force behind the Fountain of Health initiative. She was recently recognized with the Physicians Health Promotion Award by Doctors Nova Scotia. This award is given to a physician who has greatly contributed to health promotion, safety and preventative care for Nova Scotians.
“The Fountain of Health is a unique Canadian initiative to promote brain health and resilience by making this science directly available to the public through the website and through workshops. Clinician materials support care providers to include health promotion in routine care,” said Dr. Cassidy, the Clinical Academic Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Program at Dalhousie University and NSHA.
Cassidy continues, “I find this work very exciting because evidence tells us that wide adoption of these approaches will dramatically reduce the incidence of dementia and other late life illnesses while improving both quality and length of life."