As life expectancy lengthens and more baby boomers are redefining retirement, we thought we’d tackle some of the most common myths about aging. As you know, here at Ease Living, we firmly believe that age is just a number and that nothing is certain. You can be the person you want to be, no matter your age!
- Dementia is an inevitable part of aging. The reality is dementia only occurs in about 5% of the population over 65, with rates increasing with increased age. Sure, you may forget where you put your keys or miss someone’s birthday now and then, but that’s normal and is different from clinical, progressive dementia. Not only is dementia not a sure thing, you can do things to prevent it: exercise, a healthy diet, and learning new things can help keep it at bay.
- It’s too late to start exercising. Never! Being active and exercising regularly will benefit you at any age. You’ll want to speak with your doctor before starting anything, but there are lots of great options to keep you healthy and active. From gardening to walking, water aerobics to golf, there’s something for everyone. Being inactive is much worse, and often leads to more doctors visits and hospitalizations. Committing to exercise and activity can help in a variety of ways: keeping you social and involved, improving your sleep, preventing or delaying disease, and even by managing stress and improving your mood!
- Sex ends with aging. Older adults can enjoy healthy, satisfying sexual relationships. Sure, there are bodily changes and your labido may not be what it once was, but that doesn’t mean it disappears completely. In a long-term, monogamous relationship communication is key to ensure both partners are getting the physical and emotional connection they need. As always, you can talk to your doctor about any problems or potential problems you may experience from health conditions, medication, and age.
- Pain, arthritis, and disability are just a part of aging. See number 2! The more active you are, the less likely you are to experience any of these. However, sometimes these things emerge anyway, or you may have an injury to recover from. In any case, your doctor can help you make a plan for recovery and pain management. Then get back out there! There are lots of options for staying active, even with a recovering injury or chronic arthritis.
- You’ll feed depressed and grumpy.
- That grouchy old person stereotype just persists, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be you. Joining clubs, finding a good exercise class, learning something new, or spending time on hobbies are great ways to stay busy AND satisfied. German researchers recently interviewed a group of seniors over 100 and found that 71% of them said they were happy. How you roll with growing older is your decision—which means if you want to be a grumpy old man, go for it!