Give me my anti-aging cream and nobody’ll get hurt-really? What happens if I don’t get it? Will it be a fate worse than quicksand? Will the all-pervading wrinkles take over my whole body dragging me under?
Or what about, “Oh hi, you look just great” (and they are thinking, astonished-yeah, for your age)!
We’ve got age shaming, age discrimination, age segregation and anti-aging creams and lotions and clothing and supplements and gadgets to no end! Plus, there are some pretty real and disgusting cases of abuse involving seniors not to mention scammers who unscrupulously target our aging population to rob them.
And come on marketers! You are trying to sell me your wares and you don’t have even one senior model! If you want my money, make it appealing to my age group-humour me. The only time you see mature models are on advertisements for adaptive devices or for retirement homes. Honestly!
So be ware-we have our canes and we are not afraid to use them (just kidding)!
But seriously, there are prevailing mindsets out there about aging, assumptions that we must avoid and some that are not true at all. Let’s set the record straight.
1. Many older folks become hard of hearing-yup, TRUE-but you don’t need to yell at us. Lol. Surprised you didn’t I? Over half over 75 do have some hearing loss.
2. All older folks do get some form of dementia. NOPE, not necessarily. It is not a normal part of aging.
3. Most seniors are no longer productive-NOPE. Productivity does not decrease with age and in, often increases. IT’s a great season of life to volunteer, learn, or join a class and many people do.
4. Most mature adults think old and they won’t ever change. Well, this one is sort of a DRAW. I mean, most of us do resists change at any age. However, many seniors are aware that they may run the risk of becoming apathetic if they don’t try to adapt. Most of us are more set in ours ways as we age but a wise person tries to be flexible to remain engaged. Older folks have often learned to be resilient.
5. Older people have lost their sense of adventure. Again, a DRAW. People who have tossed aside convention see aging as a new road with loads to explore and discover. You can find all kinds of trips and experiences geared to the “Young at Heart”, those who yearn to fulfill their bucket list plus, live a rich deep life. On the other hand, if you were never the risk taking sort, a person who enjoys pushing the boundaries, you may be even more so as you age, settled right where you are.
6. Seniors should not exercise as they run a higher risk of injury. NOPE! Have you been to a gym lately? They are full of older folks. There are just so many benefits it’s hard to list them all. Along with the physical, the positive mental health, the community you become part of, and other social gains exercising releases endorphins, the feel good chemicals.
7. People who are aging need more sleep. NOPE. All adults should maintain their normal number of hours of sleep each night from their twenties into their winter years whatever their normal was. Get a good night’s rest and there is seldom a need to doze during the daytime.
8. Old age is the end of sex. NOPE. Seniors know that sex with their life long partner only enhances intimacy and closeness.
9. Maturing adults become less productive. DRAW. Some folks do and some don’t –but that largely depends on their personality. If you were a productive person all your life, you will likely remain so as you age.
10. Older folks can’t or won’t learn new things. DRAW! Seniors will certainly gain or at least maintain their cognitive skills if they chose to learn. Obviously to learn keeps our brain active so that we can age well and stay sharp. Yet some people simply refuse to learn no matter their age and that makes them old well before their time.
11. There is wisdom with age. YUP, indeed there often is! A mature adult may have tried and true advice for the intelligent person who will listen. In many cultures around the world age is honoured, revered and respected in great part for this reason. We’ll soon take a closer look at this in another blog.
So I hope you have now tossed aside some of those myths about getting older. Many of those assumptions really depend on the person you always were to begin with. So come on! We are interested folks, capable and ready to embrace our age. Strive to be interesting. Let’s move forward with Grace from above!
Oh, and don’t forget to give me my senior discount!