“Old people are incompetent.” “Men and women over 60 always suffer from extremely rigid thinking.”“Dementia represents an inevitable part of the aging process.” We hear such statements all the time and we can’t help but wonder: is there a grain of truth in these controversial affirmations? Can you actually influence the way in which you age or are your hands tied in this direction? It’s no secret that some elder people require special assistance to maintain a satisfying quality of life, but this fact shouldn’t leave much room for generalizations. Here are some of the most common stereotypes linked to the natural aging process.
1. As People Grow Older, They Inevitably Have to Cope with Dementia. A recent article published by Psychology Today shows that this is one of the biggest myths about aging. Recent studies indicate that dementia should be considered a modifiable health concern. If it occurs, it should be addressed as a medical condition, rather than being labeled as one of the main elements of the aging process. The fact that you become forgetful could be linked to a great variety of factors that have nothing to do with Alzheimer’s, including medication, a poor diet or existing modifiable medical problems.
2. If You Have Never Exercised before, It’s Too Late to Start in Your 60s. Wrong again! It is never too late to embrace an active lifestyle. According to a study cited by healthywomen.org, 50 women and men with ages below or above 87 exercised on a regular basis for 10 weeks, using weights. The result of this test were truly extraordinary: all participants managed to boost their muscle strength by 113%, proving that issues like premature grayingand old age have nothing in common with the ability to exercise and the desire to stay healthy and active.
3. The Basic Needs of Elder People Differ a Great Deal from the Ones Described by Younger People. As people grow older, their priorities change. But this doesn’t mean that they undergo a radical transformation overnight and become unrecognizable. According to Psychology Today, the basic human needs associated with men and women are the same at any age. We all require water, food, shelter, don’t we? Furthermore, most people over 40 who are already witnessing the first signs of the natural aging process (wrinkles, gray hair) are hell-bent on erasing them by using a powerful arsenal that usually includes anti-aging creams and serums and hair dyes or vitamins for gray hair. No matter how old they are, people want to feel attractive, loved and appreciated, and this does not change with age.