As people age, there’s no denying that their lifestyle changes as aging occurs. Whether it be the idea that old people are more gullible or that getting older equates to being grumpier, one thing is for certain; misconceptions regarding the aging process are widespread in the public eye. It’s important to recognize the truths related to aging and how myths and misconceptions negatively impact older adults.
7 Inaccurate Myths About Aging
Myth #1: Elderly Folks Are More Gullible
A common misconception involves people believing seniors are more gullible. Previous generations -baby boomer and prior- were taught that trust wasn’t earned, but expected. If you told someone something, it was truthful, and likewise if you promised someone something, then you delivered on that promise.
You see, tricking or misleading the elderly isn’t easy because they’re foolish; it’s easy because their from a different generation that places a high value on honesty, integrity and keeping promises.
Myth#2: Aging Leads to Increased Loneliness
As you age, there is still ample opportunity to be social. Visiting family and friends, attending places of worship, engaging in city-sponsored events, and living in senior living communities can provide many opportunities to get involved and stay connected.
Myth#3: Aging Makes You Less Knowledgeable
While certain cognitive defects can form as a result of aging, getting older has no direct correlation with declining intelligence. Growing older will lead to slower reaction times, NOT a lowered knowledge base. It’s imperative not to confuse speed with one’s abilities to understand information or perform tasks. Seniors can cognitively function as well as those who are younger but sometimes move at a slower pace.
Myth #4: Adapting Becomes Harder as You Age
With age the more adaptable you become to changing environments, stress and emotional hardships. Experience makes you more resilient and capable of handling the curveballs that life throws your way. Older people have a better grasp of what it takes to deal with difficult situations than younger people because they’ve experienced family deaths, financial strain, and unwelcomed medical news that younger generations have not yet encountered.
Myth #5: Seniors Are More Religious
This myth has no statistical bearing attached to it. Spirituality views are as unique as the seniors who adhere to them. There are older adults who are agnostic, atheist, Christian, Muslim and every other conceivable religious background that you can imagine.
Myth#6: The Older You Get, The Grumpier You Become
Increasing studies reveal that happiness isn’t constant throughout one’s life. Age doesn’t cause grumpiness. In fact, the older you get, the less responsibility you have; which can, in turn, correlate to increased happiness.
Over the course of someone’s life, happiness is most commonly found to follow a U-shaped curve. This means that happiness peaks in childhood and elderly years; while bottoming out in your middle-aged years. Correspondingly, you have the least amount of responsibility in childhood and elderly years, and most responsibility in your middle-aged years. So, instead of relating age to happiness, it would be more accurate to relate amounts of responsibility to happiness.
Myth #7: Older People Tend to Be More Narrow-minded
Getting older doesn’t limit one’s mind, it actually offers more opportunity than ever to expand! Traveling/exploring, learning a new language, and taking up numerous other daily activities are all things that enhance one’s view point of the world. Seniors are full of rich life-experiences that impart wisdom, common-sense, compassion and a great deal of open-mindedness.
Myths about seniors prevent you from knowing the truth about who they really are. Don’t confine older adults to a label or stereotype. Get to know the person, and you’ll see these faulty misconceptions diminish before your eyes.
Landmark Senior Living has been in the business of providing affordable senior housing for more than thirty years. We do what we do because we care. Our mission is to provide compassionate service in every task and to help every resident feel at home. At Landmark, we're all Family. Contact one of our premier locations today and talk to one of our dedicated representatives about scheduling a tour.