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Recent study reveals secrets for prolonging your independence

Researchers are closing in on the secret to a long and happy life. It may not be the fountain of youth, but a 16-year study has identified specific behaviors that lead to prolonged independence.

It is well known that physical activity and family relationships may allow you to live a long time. However, many people are far more concerned about maintaining their independence than they are about living forever.

The results of a study, which were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society earlier this month, reveal how many elders maintain their independence into their late 80s. While there were limitations in the study, the following three indicators of prolonged independence are believed to hold true across genders, ethnicities and age groups.

Research results revealed

If you adhere to a Mediterranean-style diet, have a waistline that measures less than 40- inches and you do not smoke, it is predicted that you are more likely to live on your own years longer than those who do not meet these criteria. Living independently means not having to move into an assisted living facility and avoiding in-home care, as well.

If you are hoping for the same results, some of the particulars of the research findings include:

  • Smoking: You cannot have smoked at any time during your life.
  • Weight: You cannot be obese at age 71.
  • Diet: You must maintain a healthy diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, cereals, fish, and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as nuts and olive oil.

Unfortunately, many people end up needing long-term care no matter how well they take care of themselves. Then, the question becomes, "How can I afford to live in a nursing home?"

How to afford long-term care

The Baby Boomer generation is very concerned -- and rightfully so -- about the affordability of long-term health care. Without proper planning and financial assistance, even a short stay in a nursing facility can consume vast amounts of money. Fortunately, you have options.

Life care planning tactics can help you prepare for the future. The Hughes Law Firm, P.C., helps people understand how they can pay for long-term care without having to sell their homes or wiping out their life savings. A free Medicaid planning seminar, entitled "Don't Go Broke in a Nursing Home," was specially designed for those who currently have loved ones in long-term care facilities, or who will likely need long-term care within the next few years. Don't put off planning for your future.

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