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Self-esteem can help seniors be healthy

As a parent, you probably remember trying to boost the self-esteem of your children with praise, especially when they were in the difficult teen years. But it is becoming clear that older adults also benefit from feeling good about themselves. In fact, seniors with greater self-esteem are better equipped to fight off potential health problems as they move into their later years, according to a new study from Concordia University in Canada.

Stresses related to aging can be made worse if a senior feels worthless or hopeless. Researchers noted that while it may be hard to increase an older person's self-esteem, the solution may be "to prevent self-esteem from declining."

This means being careful not to treat older adults as if they are children or to assume they have diminished cognitive abilities and condescend to them.

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