People in their seventies and eighties have better mental wellbeing now compared to those of the same age in the 1990s.

That’s according to a new study which also found that this generation is more satisfied with their lives so far in comparison to same-aged people three decades ago.

Professor Taina Rantanen, from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, said: “In our previous comparisons, we found that older people today have significantly better physical and cognitive functioning at the same age compared to those born earlier.

“These new results complement these positive findings in terms of mental well-being.”

The improved sense of wellbeing among this cohort has, in part, been put down to better perceived health and higher education.

However, a notable finding was that 80-year-old men living in the 1990s were more satisfied with their current lives than men of the same age today.

Postdoctoral researcher Tiia Kekäläinen commented: “These men born in 1910 had lived through difficult times, which may explain their satisfaction with their current lives in the 1990s when many things were better than before.

“Individuals adapt to their situation and living conditions. Both in the 1990s and today, the majority of older adults reported being satisfied with their current lives.”

Researchers looked at data from 617 people who were born in 1910 and 1914 and took part in a study in 1989-1990, along with the results of a 2017/18 study of 794 people who were born in 1938-1939 and 1942-1943.

Read the study in full in the Journal of Aging and Health

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