There are many myths about aging and today they are getting debunked. These myths can range from innocuous to downright harmful, which is why it is important to clear the air with the truth about these 7 age-related myths.
Myths About Aging
Aging is Depressing
Contrary to what might be a popular opinion, aging is not depressing. Studies indicate that happiness follows a U-shape as we age, with our younger and later years being the happiest of our lives. Self-reported levels of happiness seem to be lowest at age 40, but the happiness line goes back up after that.
Seniors Are Grumpy
Unhappy adults grow into unhappy seniors, but the same is true of happy seniors. Age has no influence on mood or temperament and those things are solidified in a person’s personality earlier in life. To put it simply, attitude is based on a person’s personality, not their age.
Aging Leads to Loneliness
Though social isolation is certainly an issue that older demographics face, there is nothing inherently lonely about aging. Those who do become isolated are those who live alone and typically are coping with challenges to their mobility. However, those who live in a community of their peers, as in a senior living community, are significantly less likely to experience loneliness. Additionally, those with access to technologies like computers and virtual reality often feel more connected.
Older Adults Lose Their Wits
While aging can affect some cognitive functions, the brain — like most muscles — gets stronger the more you use it. Those older adults that have access to engaging activities are not likely to experience severe cognitive changes. In particular, older adults seem to be better at experience-related problems, like settling arguments.
Older People Are Unproductive
Though many retirees have officially left the workforce, they are far from unproductive. According to one study, 70% of persons over 55 engage in some kind of formal or informal volunteer work. Not to mention countless hours of help with childcare, which makes an enormous impact on society.
Aging Affects Creativity
There are countless artists who demonstrate that aging does not affect creativity. Just think of Bob Ross, who didn’t even start painting until his 40’s. It is actually later in life that one is able to master their creative pursuits because they have been able to put in years of experience.
Older Adults Are Unable to Adapt
This one is laughably untrue. Just think about it. Older adults are not only adept at adapting to new situations, they are actually better at it than their younger counterparts. By the time one has reached their 60’s and 70’s they have experienced innumerable changes and transitions in life, many of them more challenging than changes experienced by younger adults.
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