In today’s fast paced society, many of us wonder if our loved ones will be able to keep up to speed with the rest of the world, especially with how quickly technology is progressing. In actuality, technology is helping to slow the progression of aging, but even still, as loved ones age, they start moving a little slower and take a while longer in recollecting their thoughts. Society tends to have a negative perception of growing older that is perpetuated through stereotypes. While there are certain things associated with aging that aren’t ideal, older age actually comes with many perks that people don’t realize. Here are three myths you may have heard about aging that aren’t true:
- Aging means that you will have difficulty learning new skills. In actuality, older adults tend to have high levels of mental flexibility. For example, the use of twitter among the ages 50-64 has doubled since November 2010. Clearly, it’s a misconception that older generations cannot adjust to change.
- Mental and physical deterioration are inevitable. While it is true that an individual’s physical and mental faculties decline with age, implementing healthy lifestyle habits can slow down the process. For example, regularly exercising the brain by playing puzzles such as Sudoku helps maintain and even improve cognitive skills. In fact, studies have shown that negative stereotypes about fitness and memory can actually speed up the deterioration. Researchers attributed their findings to the placebo effect, claiming that what people think may affect their physicality.
- Older people are lonelier. Despite the common belief that elderly people are lonely, older adults usually have close contact with family and friends. More often than not, it is younger rather than older adults who claim that the elderly are lonely.
Stereotypes are hurtful because they often attribute the behavior of a few individuals to an entire group. Research continues to show that negative thoughts around aging can have adverse effects on older adults. However, research also shows that positive thoughts around aging can have beneficial effects. At Home Care Assistance, our mission is to change the way the world ages and one way we are doing this is through community education on topics related to aging, wellness and quality of life. Through education and our initiatives we hope to transform society’s current view of aging into a more positive view – one that we believe!