“Youth is a disease from which we all recover.” —Dorothy Fuldheim
For most of people the following statement about aging are infact the “fact”…. if it is think again…
- As people age, they experience reduced muscle strength.
- Oral health declines as a result of the aging process.
- Approximately 25 percent of all older adults develop corneal cataracts.
- It is normal to become more forgetful as you age.
- According to the National Institute of Aging, 85 percent of all those over 85 years old live in residential communities or nursing homes.
- Senility is inevitable in older people.
- Women’s sexual desire declines sharply as they age.
- Incontinence is a normal part of aging.
- Elders should prepare themselves and their families for their deaths by withdrawing from family activities.
- The effects of prescription drugs diminish as we age, so larger doses are required to gain the same effects as before.
- Seniors experience less stress because of their relaxed lifestyle.
- 75 percent of seniors dread getting older.
All the statements in the quiz you just took are false. They are all common misconceptions of the aging process.
The changes in our physical and mental abilities presented in this chapter are generalizations. The exact amount of the change is not the same for each individual. For example, you know individuals whose hearing has declined (some more than others) and other individuals whose hearing remains unchanged. So when you read research results or articles in newspapers that say “this” happens as we age, remember that “this” is not written in stone. “This” depends on individual characteristics, such as health and lifestyles and may be true for some and not for others.
Seeing how many numbers you can memorize, how quickly you can turn a lever, and so on are not relevant to a senior’s life. Some experts believe that the seniors do not compete or try as hard as the younger participants, who may have participated more recently in test situations in school.
Many studies concentrate on anticipated declines of abilities.
Researchers feel the need to find declining abilities to try to prevent or minimize these declines. “Information about cognitive abilities that remain stable or increase with age, although perhaps desirable to provide a more balanced portrayal of the true capabilities of older adults, has a lower priority among many researchers because it has been presumed to be of less value in contributing to the ultimate elimination of age-related cognitive problems.”
Retirement is an accepted, normal part of aging, and if prepared for properly, a time of life we cheerfully anticipate.
We prepare for retirement by evaluating present circumstances and anticipating future changes in our economic situation. Some individuals start earlier preparations, use better strategies, and thus are more prepared than others.
“Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it you have to start young.” — Fred Astaire