Some people are uneasy and unenthusiastic to grow old and reach the inevitable geriatric age. This is probably because of the physiological changes that one may or may not experience as they age. While most of these changes are true, there are also a lot of aging myths revolving in today’s society. Some of these misconceptions have greatly influenced one’s perception of senior citizenship. But, you can’t entirely depend on these observations and expect that the same thing will happen to you. The truth is, you also need to look at some scientific explanations and studies that will back-up these annotations. Hence, in this article, you will read some interesting misconceptions about aging and the truth behind these fallacies.
1. You get grumpy, depressed and lonely as you ageCredit: wikimedia common (public domain image)
While some old folks are strict and sometimes cranky, this is actually one of the most popular aging myths today. Actually, grumpiness and being strict is mostly associated with age difference, the upbringing of a person and the constantly changing cultures or practices. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be stingy when you get old. You may probably do a comparison between the past and current behaviors once in a while. But, that’s it. Mood swings will typically manifest during menopause or andropause but not afterwards. Hence, if you’re a jolly person now, chances that you’ll grow old and become grumpy are very low.
As for loneliness and depression as other examples of aging myths, there are no sufficient evidences that would prove that majority of old people are lonely and depressed. The truth is, once you hit retirement age, your problems and tensions will remarkably drop off. Primarily because you’ll get to relax and enjoy almost every day. Plus, It was actually stated in an anthropological study that middle-aged people are more prone to stress, depression and loneliness compared to senior citizens.
2. It is hard to lose weight when your old
While it's true that your metabolism decreases as you age, having a hard time losing weight is again one of the most common aging myths today. The fact is, it is possible to keep a well-toned body even in your 70’s, 80’s or 90’s. You just have to exercise every day and eat low-calorie meals. However, it is also a fact that you can gain weight easily when your old. This is due to the side-effects of some maintenance drugs. For that reason, you might want to consult your physicians about this matter. Other than that, if you live a healthy lifestyle, obesity or weight gain is not a major aging problem at all.
3. Hearing and memory loss
It is true that your physical senses would decline as you age. However, both hearing loss and senility are actually considered as aging myths. How is this so? First is hearing loss. Studies have revealed that only 30% of people under 80 years old need hearing aids. With that statistical results, the chances of losing your hearing abilities when you reach geriatric age are less likely to occur. But, you can’t also expect that the bionic ears you have as a child would still be there.
As for your memory, you won’t entirely lose it as you get old. If you have noticed, your grandparents have a very tight memory based from their never-ending childhood stories. However, according to some studies, one’s cognitive skills may decline as they age. Even so, the chances that you’ll forget all the memorable moments of your life is very slim. Except of course, in cases of Alzheimer’s. For that reason, it is strongly advised to do some daily mental exercises as early as today. This will help you sustain an efficient and long-lasting memory or cognitive skills.
Last in the list of aging myths is a decrease in productivity. One of the most common misconceptions of people today is that if you don’t have a job, you’re being less productive. This is probably true for those who are full of energy and youth but not when you’re aging and retired.
Although it takes time to adjust to the carefree life of a retired person, there are a lot of things you can do with your free time. You can grow a garden, help in your community centers or take your grandchildren to a park. These tasks may or may not earn you any money but still its productivity.
Remember, not because you’re old, you can feel helpless or worthless about yourself. You can even try doing some fun or extreme activities to uplift your spirits. Just don’t push yourself too much. Keep in mind that, your bodies are not as strong as before. You may severely injure yourself by trying vigorous activities. Nonetheless, you can take this period as the perfect time for you to relax, enjoy and live life to the fullest.
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