Getting older is a privilege, but it comes with the necessity to stay physically, socially, and emotionally engaged to age in a healthy manner. The digital developments over the past few decades have changed how humanity remembers and preserves history.
Organizations like Ancestry.com, Family Search, and DNA Weekly allow us to record our ancestries in permanent ways that can be verified and protected in perpetuity, thanks to the Internet and database software.
Older adults often turn to genealogy as a popular hobby because it helps solidify their identities and explore their family history while connecting them to their past. DNA tests and genealogical research can provide seniors with information that can help them make lifestyle changes to enhance and lengthen their lives.
Connecting with Lost Loved Ones
Time has a way of separating people through space and events which can make families estranged and friends lost due to circumstances and fate.
As we age and those around us become a smaller and smaller crowd, it is easy to see why genealogy would interest older folks.
Genealogy is a great way to involve every generation of your family. Grandparents and other elders are the absolute best resources any family researcher has at their disposal.
The Mormon Church runs one of the most extensive and thorough genealogical websites that exist today, Family Search.
Many members of the Mormon Church believe it is their sacred duty to baptize the dead so that they may enter heaven.
This religious tenet has led to the gathering of millions of facts concerning just as many individuals. The ethical and legal implications surrounding genealogical research is a sensitive issue. Information regarding living people is difficult to come by and must be obtained through proper channels. However, finding an estranged relative or long-lost friend is truly a miracle (no matter what age you are), and having another supportive member in a senior’s social network can have ample positive effects on their mood.
Medical and Lifestyle Benefits
A DNA test can tell a lot about a person. Genealogically, a DNA test can dive deeply into the history of an individual’s ancestry.
A deep dive shows how their family incorporated different types of genes from immigrating to new areas or having a fresh set of genomes introduced to the population. Humans are one giant race.
Medical professionals sometimes prescribe DNA tests for people who have a close family member with a hereditary disease or if a woman older than 35 is pregnant. Most genetic illnesses require both parents to pass on a faulty gene for the illness or condition to cause symptoms. Older women run the risk of having babies with chromosomal problems like Down Syndrome.
Boosting Mental Health
Genealogy helps us understand health in a way that gives the individual the agency to change their lifestyles to live healthier and longer lives. Genealogy is an activity that requires focus, energy, and problem-solving skills, which all contribute to a healthy brain.
Seniors can conduct genealogical research from any computer, and it requires little money to begin looking for their ancestry. Tracing an ancestral path is rewarding because it gives the investigator a bond with their roots and reminds older adults that they belong to a family that has been around for centuries.
As a group activity, seniors can collaborate and uncover any mysteries lurking in their recent family histories. Research has shown that remaining active in endeavors that truly interest them aids seniors in fighting diseases like high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, some cancers, and a host of other conditions.