Getting out of the house has an impact on your life expectancy
hand of an older woman on the wheel of a wheelchair
Today Wiley Research made an interesting announcement about the importance of getting out of the house:
In a Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study of community-dwelling individuals aged 70 to 90 years who were participating in the Jerusalem Longitudinal Study, leaving the house daily was linked with a lower risk of dying over an extended follow-up period, independent of social, functional, or medical factors.

The study’s investigators noted that getting outside of one’s home provides numerous opportunities for engagement with the world outside, and may facilitate exposure to a variety of beneficial experiences.

“What is interesting is that the improved survival associated with getting out of the house frequently was also observed among people with low levels of physical activity, and even those with impaired mobility,” said lead author Dr. Jeremy Jacobs, of the Hadassah Hebrew-University Medical Center, in Jerusalem. “Resilient individuals remain engaged, irrespective of their physical limitations.”

This is interesting because so many older people have difficulties getting out of the house and many rarely do. This doesn’t necessarily mean that leaving the house will make someone live longer, although there are lots of things that would connect the two things. People who are in good health are more likely to be able to leave the house. Lots of research has shown that people with strong social support systems and community involvement are healthier. We know that loneliness has a connection to poor health and a shorter life expectancy.

For those of you who find it difficult to get out of the house (and take the people you’re caring for out of the house with you), what makes it difficult for you to get out of the house? What would make it easier? And why do you think getting out of the house would impact someone’s life expectancy?

Written by Cori Carl
As Director, Cori is an active member of the community and regularly creates resources for people providing care.

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  1. For me it’s hard because my mother is very self conscious about her speech. Plus she can’t stand for long periods of time.

  2. Help getting my husband in and out and to and from.

  3. Would LOVE to get out of the house more but with my brother I caretake he only wants to go out if we can go out to eat and just sitting for our time out is not appealing to me. As it is I take two oxygen tanks on the back of his wheelchair, his liter usage is high. Since I’m veg and have celiac eating out for me means a salad 99% of the time BUT I guess if it gives him pleasure it is ok but it does mean him getting dressed and stopping lasix. Last week he was in the ICU and it was nice to be OUT of the house even if it meant dealing with subway, busses, and trolley to get to the hospital – I was OUT OF THE HOUSE! Such a feel of freedom. Sad.


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