Older Adults: Myth vs. Reality
- Category: Senior Life
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Think that aging means becoming frail, helpless, and lonely? Think again!
Myth: Once you hit 60, your health declines, and you become inactive.
Reality: A recent study revealed that older people are much more likely to age well than to become feeble and dependent, thanks to advances in medicine and technology. The majority of today’s seniors are physically active for 15 minutes or more at least 12 times a month. The most popular activities are walking, gardening, home exercise, and dancing. Even at an advanced age, many have little functional disability.
Myth: Seniors can’t learn anything new.
Reality: Development and learning can continue throughout an individual’s life, provided the brain is challenged. Seniors have mastered technologies that were unheard of in their youth. They have learned to whip up a meal in a microwave, bank via mobile app, and surf online. In fact, seniors comprise the most rapidly growing computer-literate demographic group.
The culprit of intellectual decline is a lack of stimulation. Studies have shown that even elderly who have experienced some cognitive decline can, with appropriate stimulation and training, improve their mental acuity.
Myth: Older people don’t have anything to contribute to society.
Reality: Individuals 65 and older offer a great deal to their families, friends, community, society, and the economy. More than 4 million are viable members of the labor force, and 15 million volunteer their time and talents to an enormous variety of organizations.
Myth: A change in lifestyle and behavior wouldn’t benefit a senior.
Reality: It’s never too late to start leading a healthy life. Stop smoking, and the risk of heart disease and stroke begin to decline almost immediately. Start exercising and following a healthy diet, and the threat of high blood pressure is reduced.