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Making positive and sustainable changes in one‘s daily routine can result in measurable improvements in quality of life. Florence Clark, from University of Southern California (USC; California, USA), and colleagues enrolled men and women ages 60 to 95 years in a five-year long study, during which at six-month intervals, licensed occupational therapists assisted the subjects to develop sustainably healthy lifestyles and assess subsequent changes to the participants’ overall quality of life. The team found that subjects who maintained an active social, spiritual and physical life were at reduced risks of developing health declines. Commenting that: “A lifestyle-oriented occupational therapy intervention has beneficial effects for ethnically diverse older people recruited from a wide array of community settings,” the researchers urge that: “Because the intervention is cost-effective and is applicable on a wide-scale basis, it has the potential to help reduce health decline and promote well-being in older people.”

[Florence Clark, Jeanne Jackson, Mike Carlson, Chih-Ping Chou, Barbara J Cherry, Maryalice Jordan-Marsh, et al. “Effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention in promoting the well-being of independently living older people: results of the Well Elderly 2 Randomized Controlled Trial.” J Epidemiol Community Health, 2 June 2011.]