Aging With Grace: A Longitudinal Study

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Aging with Grace, Leading a More Meaningful Life Lori Nufrio Kean University Abstract This paper will discuss a longitudinal study that was done over a twelve year period. It has become a wonderful study that has led to many other research studies. These research studies have led to many new ways in which to help our clients. They have helped to bring to light the mysteries of dementia and how to conquer this devastating disease. Throughout this paper dementia and its affects will be discussed as well as some findings that may help to see who is at risk and how to delay the onset of this dreadful disease. The wonders of research will be addressed and this one study will be discussed at length. Aging with Grace: A Longitudinal…show more content…
David Snowdon. He gives an accurate interpretation of the ongoing longitudinal research study that he headed. The study involved a large group of catholic nuns out in the mid-west. All the participants in this research project were from the American School Sisters of Notre Dame. The sisters that were asked to participant were between the ages of seventy five and one hundred and two. In total six hundred and seventy eight nuns agreed to participate in all phases of the study. These brides of Christ, as they were called, also gave consent to donate their brain upon their deaths. As one sister was heard to say, there will be a bunch of nuns running around heaven without their brains. (Snowdon 2001). The major purpose for Dr. Snowdon’s research was to discover what causes Alzheimer’s and could we, possibly find ways to prevent this destructive disease. The nuns in this study were chosen because they all had similar life-styles. It was felt that there were very few variables that would affect the outcome of the research. Participants such as these nuns were nonsmokers, drank very little, if any, had the same marital status, lived in similar environments, held similar jobs and had the same access to medical…show more content…
Nurses have the unique opportunity to educate their patients on achieving these goals. From the numerous materials that the nun study went over it has clearly been documented that higher learning and keeping active using your brain helps to maintain cognition. Patients who are continually doing activities seem to maintain a healthy lifestyle longer then ones who become stagnant and do nothing with their time. Nurses can encourage these people to join in activities and become more active. Exercise is another key component of maintaining a healthy self. Setting up exercise programs is essential for prevention of stroke and heart attacks which seems to have a correlation with increased dementia. We as health professionals have a responsibility to teach and assist people to maintain a lifestyle that will prevent some of the key factors which contribute to AD. Nurses and health care professionals are the first line to addressing these issues and assisting people to become aware of ways to keep and stay healthier during the golden years. Using the research that has been applied to best practice is the way that nurses can make a huge difference in their client’s lives. Many of the research outcomes have presently been put into practice and employed by nurses. It is the responsibility of each nurse to be aware of what the research studies have

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