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7 Common Myths About Aging

Your 1+1 Team
January 19, 2022

Many assumptions can be made around what it means to “grow old.” People tend to live in fear thinking they automatically won’t be able to do the things they enjoy anymore once they reach a certain age. However, that mentality distracts from the positive aspects of aging. According to the National Institute of Aging, research shows that “you can preserve your health and mobility as you age by adopting or continuing healthy habits and lifestyle choices.” By ignoring the following common myths about aging, seniors can enjoy a full, meaningful life.

Here are 7 Myths About Aging

Myth #1: Seniors can’t learn and try new things

While older adults may face cognitive changes, age does not make them any less smart and dismiss their ability to learn. They may face positive cognitive changes such as more wisdom and insight from their life experiences. This can come in handy with learning and adapting new skills! We encourage seniors to take up new hobbies and learn new skills because it can improve cognitive abilities and help keep their minds sharp.

Myth #2: Brain function decreases with age

The aging process does not affect the size, capacity, or function of the brain for seniors without cognitive impairment. The most likely cause of a shrinking brain would be stress, not age, which means seniors need to reduce their anxiety levels to maintain their cognitive health.

Myth #3: Depression and loneliness is normal in older adults

Isolation and loneliness can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and sadness at any age. While older adults can face depression from living alone and feeling isolated, these feelings are not a normal part of aging. Studies show that older adults are less likely to experience depression than younger adults. There are many emotional benefits to growing older such as long-lasting relationships with friends and family and a lifetime of memories to share with loved ones.

Myth #4: Seniors must give up driving

The amount of older adults driving is increasing with the Federal Highway Administration recording a record-high of 1 in 5 drivers aged 65 or older in 2016. Natural changes can occur with age that may affect a person’s ability to drive such as having weakened vision, hearing, and mobility. However, the question of when to stop driving has nothing to do with age, rather it should be about your ability to drive safely.

Myth #5: All seniors have brittle bones

The idea of a senior with brittle bones and poor posture is just a stereotype. We don’t see Betty White ever slouching! Older adults are susceptible to osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones. However, osteoporosis is more preventable than ever today.

Myth #6: Intimacy and sex become obsolete in old age

Seniors no longer interested in sexual intimacy is another common stereotype. While it is a touchy subject that may make older adults uncomfortable, sex is is still a critical part of many older adult relationships. Studies have shown there is a strong relationship between well-being, intimacy, and positive sexual activity.

Myth #7: Living with multiple chronic diseases is inevitable

Many have the expectations that old age leads to chronic conditions and that there is no such thing as “healthy aging.” While genetics can play a part in avoiding some chronic conditions, overall wellness depends on maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you age such as eating right, exercising, and having plenty of sleep.

So next time you look in the mirror and see a few gray hairs, we hope you smile instead of fearing the exciting rest of your life waiting for you.

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