When we are younger, we crave getting older and gaining the independence to take on the world. However, there comes a point when the idea of getting older becomes less exciting and more unsettling. We see movies and television shows depict aging as something to fear and avoid. But why is this the case?
The fact is that growing older is an honor and comes with many benefits and advantages. Still, the idea of aging is surrounded by stereotypes and myths that make aging sound negative and unpleasant. As a long-term care provider in Colorado and Missouri, Vivage believes in celebrating aging and combatting ageism. To showcase this, we are debunking common myths about aging and sharing the advantages and benefits of growing older.
Common Misconceptions & Myths About Aging
Myth: Older Adults Can’t Learn New Things
Whether it’s a new technology or a recent fad, there is a stereotype that older adults can’t understand, learn, and embrace new things. However, while younger generations may have been raised with certain technologies, that doesn’t mean older adults don’t have the knowledge and ability to learn.
Unfortunately, this negative perception can have adverse effects on older adults. “The pervasive negative stereotypes about older adults and technology create a negative feedback loop that can undermine older people’s confidence and their ability to learn more sophisticated skills (longevity.stanford.edu).”
The truth is, by trying and learning new skills, older adults can sharpen their minds and potentially improve their cognitive abilities. “For example, one study found that older adults who learned quilting or digital photography had improved memory.”
Myth: Older Adults Should Avoid Physical Activity to Prevent Injuries
Another common myth about aging is that older adults don’t have the mobility, strength, or endurance to participate in physical activities. Just like any other age group, health and abilities will vary by person, but participating in physical activities and staying active are good for you no matter your age.
According to the National Institute on Aging, “often, inactivity is more to blame than age when [individuals] lose the ability to do things on their own.” Participating in physical exercise is what helps us maintain balance and strength, stay mobile, and maintain our independence.
Fortunately, we see older adults break this stereotype every day, like this 74-year-old who went for gold on his competitive bicycle in the Illinois Senior Olympics or this 95-year-old Canadian man who became the oldest person to ever heli-ski!
Myth: Dementia is Part of Aging
Age is one of many factors that determine an individual’s likelihood of developing dementia, but getting older does not automatically mean that you will develop it. Keeping your mind stimulated, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet can all work to promote brain health.
Vivage communities can help you do all three of these. Offering socialization opportunities, a variety of activities and events, and exceptional dining options with menu options focused on nutrition; we offer the Right Care in the Right Place at the Right Time.
Getting Better with Age
Truth: Age Teaches You to Value Experiences Over Material Things
When we are younger, we focus a lot of our time on obtaining things – the latest piece of technology, a nice car, a big house, etc. But as we get older, we begin to value time with family and friends, traveling, and experiencing life. As Steve Jobs once said, “Life is about creating and living experiences that are worth sharing.”
Truth: You Let Go of What You Cannot Change
Life has taught you that you cannot control everything. You’ve grown from your mistakes and continue to learn every day that there are things you cannot change. You know you are not responsible for the actions of others and focus on your own responses, thoughts, and impact on the world around you.
Truth: You Feel Fortunate to Have the Opportunity to Grow Older
Despite the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding aging, getting older is not something everyone gets to experience. Growing older is something to celebrate, not dread. The common myths about aging are just that, myths. Aging is a natural part of life that brings more opportunities to experience life in a new and exciting way.
For older adults who need long-term care and support in their daily lives, our Vivage communities throughout Colorado and Missouri are ready to help you lead your desired lifestyle and celebrate the benefits of getting older.
We invite you to contact our Vivage teamto learn more about the compassionate care and amenities that our communities have to offer.