“The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person” – Andy Rooney
We’ve all heard some of the common “aging myths” – “Seniors are unhappy”; “Seniors feel old”; “All seniors are frail”. The truth is that many seniors live full, productive lives, enjoying careers well past the age of 65.
Many Americans have preconceived notions about the aging process. In addition to having careers, seniors are also quite active, going on cruises, going out dancing, and even taking courses!
Here are 5 common senior myths debunked:
1. Seniors are unhappy and lonely
People often think that seniors feel lonely, isolated, and depressed…becoming cantankerous older individuals. This, however, is a misnomer. In fact, happiness tends to increase after the age of retirement. Older individuals tend to be more involved in their family’s lives and have more time for themselves. In fact, most seniors trust in the notion of “counting their blessings”. Looking back on their lives, they are thankful for what they’ve done and what they’ve accomplished.
2. Seniors feel old
Because seniors have more time on their hands, they explore new activities and hobbies such as yoga, volunteering, and even shopping. For most people, the older they get, the younger they feel. They enjoy days full of doing things they love. Gone are the days of “act your age”. Because most people think of themselves as younger, then they act and feel younger. Age is just a number, a chronological number. Remember…you’re only as old as you feel.
3. Seniors are frail
It’s a myth that all elderly individuals are frail and their bones are weak and brittle. It’s true that some seniors will have issues with bone density due to osteoporosis, but it’s not unavoidable. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in vitamin D and calcium, exercising, taking supplements, and taking care of your overall well-being can help to stave off the effects of osteoporosis.
4. Seniors can’t learn anything new
Once seniors hit retirement age, they become invested in learning new things. Since the brain is continually changing and growing, seniors are capable of learning new activities and absorbing new information. They participate in a variety of classes, activities, and sports. They even use technology such as computers and iPads to keep in contact with family members and keep up-to-date with world events
5. Seniors aren’t creative
It is a basic human instinct to be creative, whether is music, art, or other artistic endeavors. Expression through art helps guide a senior’s creative process that leads to self-exploration and self-gratification. Creativity provides health benefits by keeping seniors’ minds active, decreasing feelings of depression, and improving concentration and hand-eye-coordination.
Having questions about the elderly and the aging process is quite common. However, don’t believe everything you see or hear about the myths and stereotypes of aging. Seniors are some of the happiest people in the world, and tend to live life to the fullest. Although many people believe that elderly individuals are depressed, frail, and unimaginative, it’s quite the opposite. Seniors are known to keep active, stay engaged, and feel that they are living the best years of their lives!