Don't Believe Those Old Myths About Aging
There seems to be a preconceived idea of what happens when you get old. And I think many of us have bought into all the ancient myths about aging.
The old myths about aging would have us believe that most older people are feeble, senile, crabby, and forgetful. Oh, and they sit in their rocking chairs by the window, watching the neighbors.
How many times have we watched a television show or a movie, with a scene of an old man screaming at neighbor kids that walk across his lawn? A perfect example of a stereotype of a cranky older man. But don't buy into those myths or stereotypes.
Myths about aging-
Exercise is not for the elderly.
Not true at all. If exercise benefits young people, why shouldn't it be beneficial for the elderly? Physical activity can reduce the aging effects of muscle loss, endurance, loss of balance, and coordination. Unfortunately, the physical decline in the elderly can be attributed to a lack of exercise in many cases. The reality is that making exercise a part of your daily routine can keep you healthier and add a few years to your life. So, yes, exercise is for the elderly!
All older people will have Dementia.
No, all older people will not have Dementia! Most older people will be no more forgetful than the average thirty or forty-year-old. And like those younger people, older people are just as capable of placing a sticky note on the refrigerator to remind them of an appointment. Young or old who hasn't at one time or another misplaced their keys or cell phones? Or maybe walked into a room and then completely forgotten what they a. Shit happens! Age doesn't have anything to do with it.
Older people are unhappy, alone, and depressed.
Yes, some older people are lonely and unhappy. And finding yourself alone can cause depression. But loneliness and depression are not a normal part of the aging process. Many seniors still maintain lifetime friendships. They are still active in social events and family functions. Many still travel, whether alone or with a senior group. From my experience, the older generation of today seems to be very active.
Older people can't learn anything new.
Hear me loud and clear. Older people can and do learn new things all the time. Plenty of older folks are taking classes online and in college. And lots of seniors are entirely up to speed with all the digital technology of our time. So we can learn a lot from the older generation.
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Older people contribute nothing to society.
I would suggest that older people contribute to society the same as anyone else does, And they have been doing it for quite some time. And they are continuing to do so. They pay their taxes, they donate to charities, and they are involved in politics.
Senior citizens contribute significantly to our economy. They are out and about traveling, shopping, eating in restaurants.
Many of them volunteer in their communities.
The elderly have vast amounts of knowledge and wisdom to share. Now wouldn't you agree that the elderly do their face share of contributing?
All older people need someone to take care of them.
Yes, many older people have to go into nursing homes or assisted living. But there are also a large number of the elderly who remain in their own homes. Some manage on their own; some need help with yard work or errands. But again, it's not necessarily a part of aging that you will end up having someone take care of you. And if you need help, that can be where your family steps in.
You have to give up driving when you get old.
You don't have to give up driving at a certain age. My mother is 91 years old and still drives. But check the laws in your state. There are a few states who do have laws on the books about older drivers. You should give it up if you feel that your health and driving skills have greatly diminished. Maybe your vision is not as good as it should be to drive. But there are plenty of older people who are fully capable of driving.
The good news is the older drivers tend to watch their speed, fasten their seatbelts, and prefer not to drive at night. As a result, most older drivers are at a lower risk of being in accidents than teenage drivers.
So to all who think older people are crabby, forgetful, and incompetent, think again! Many of you probably couldn't keep up with those of us in the older generation. But you can try.
I am not suggesting that everyone sails into old age with no problems. We are all different. Life dealt some of us a good hand, and life was not so kind to others. And a lot depends on the lifestyles we have led.
As we start aging, many of us begin to believe that all the older people stereotypes perpetuated are not valid.
As we age, most of us start realizing that getting old doesn't mean we will become cranky, mean older people who will have miserable lives, far from it.
People are living longer, and they are staying healthy. And they are living good productive, and happy lives. But of course, there may be a few cranky days here and there. No matter our age, we all have our days.
Books you may enjoy about aging-