Control refers to ones ability to influence or direct a certain outcome and our perceived control refers to how much we believe we are able able to influence or control these certain outcomes. Control can be a sore topic for many elderly individuals, as many have admitted to feeling a decreased sense of control further into adulthood. High perceived control is actually associated with better mental health, satisfaction, overall wealth, as well as cognitive function. People with higher perceived control also tend to experience less depression, as well as less functional limitations into their age. Researchers Robinson and Lachman collected research which displayed that individual’s differences in perceived control ,were indicative of one’s physical activity abilities even 20 years later. The finding also revealed perceived control to correlate with memory abilities down the road. Perhaps these findings strengthen the mind over matter theory.
In summation, people with a higher perceived control are less likely to experience memory loss and more likely to remain more functional as they age. It is easy to feel you are losing some control over your life, as you may find yourself aging and having to make changes. It is important to note that a change of plans is not always indicative of loss of control more so just learning how to adapt. If you are older and find yourself feeling with little control over your life, I would encourage you to first develop a new outlook and I then challenge you to take it a step further and find ways to increase your perceived control. Think about some specific outcomes you are no longer in “control” of and figure out if there are new ways you can become involved again. Perhaps you once felt you had more control on getting to and from places but now have limited mobility. Perhaps, you could consider hiring someone to take you exactly where you want to go again putting you in control of your destinations. If you find you are still completely unable to control a situation, focus on the things you do have control of and continue to grow that list. After all time and again, mind over matter is a powerful force.
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