10 Myths About Aging
There are many myths and assumptions about what “aging” entails. But this process is different for everyone and there are many ways you can take control of the process, staying healthy for longer. Get the facts and put your health first- here are 10 myths around aging, and the truths you need to know.
1) It’s Normal to Feel Lonely as You Age
Unfortunately, many people believe that increased loneliness and isolation are inevitable parts of the aging process. While it’s true that isolation and depression can be a reality for some older people, they do require intimacy and friendship as much as anyone. As social circles change, there are many ways older people can reach out to new communities, both online and in the physical world, to combat these feelings.
2) As You Age, You Need Less Sleep
Because older adults often have a hard time getting the required sleep they need – sometimes struggling to get to sleep after going to bed or waking up in the night – the myth emerges that adults need less sleep as they age. While children are particularly dependent on sleep for their development, the amount of sleep needed stabilizes at around 7 – 9 hours a night and stays that way for your whole adult life. If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, look at the factors in your life that may prevent you from reaching that target.
3) You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
From language learning to reskilling, this old saying has a lot of power. It is, however, a complete myth – your age doesn’t hold you back from learning new skills. Explore courses, whether online or through a local library, senior center, or community college to discover what’s possible.
4) Dementia Is an Inevitable Part of Aging
Culturally, we’re invested in the belief that there’s a relationship between mental decline and aging. Dementia, while unfortunate and often debilitating, is not inevitable. “Some degree of forgetfulness is natural, but through diet and mental exercise you can maintain your faculties all your life,” says Arthur Hicks, a lifestyle writer at Britstudent and Nextcoursework. “Take control over your health.”
5) Older Adults Should Be Especially Cautious of Injury
The risk of injury from exercise for older adults is so overstated that many people begin avoiding exercise all together! In fact, sensible exercise can provide more benefits than harm, when done properly and appropriately. Non-impact exercises such as yoga and swimming are especially good for helping aging bodies stay fit and trim.
6) Alzheimer’s Runs in the Family
Whilst there are genetic links to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, a family history of these problems doesn’t make it inevitable that you will suffer the same fate. Aging can be a worrying process, and assuming these ailments are inevitable can prevent you from taking control of the environmental factors which preserve your health.
7) You Can’t Drive When You’re Older
There are a number of health conditions which may prevent you from keeping your driver license, but age itself isn’t a determining factor. In the United States almost one in five drivers is over the age of 65, showing that you can keep driving safely into your later years. Regularly test your eyesight and talk to your doctor about driving.
8) Only Women Suffer from Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a common condition in women, but the prevailing belief that men don’t need to worry about this condition makes it underreported and underdiagnosed in men. Men tend to take longer than women to develop osteoporosis since they start out with a higher density of bone mass, but by the time they are in their late 60s they are equally susceptible to this condition.
9) It’s Too Late to Quit Smoking
“Quitting smoking at any time, no matter how long you’ve been stuck in this habit, always has an immediate benefit on your health,” says Claudine Peterson, a business writer at Australia2write and Write My X. “Just hours after your last cigarette, the levels of carbon monoxide in your blood begin to recede.” Yes, the habits of a lifetime can be hard to quit, but it’s never too late to kick that habit.
10) Blood Pressure Medication is Only for When Your Blood Pressure is High
High blood pressure is a cause for concern and it’s right to follow doctors’ orders to take medication to get it under control. However, when your blood pressure returns to normal, it’s equally important to follow your doctor’s recommendation about continuing this medication.
–by Michael Dehoyos
Bio: Michael Dehoyos is a part-time writer and contributor at Thesis Writing Service and Write My Dissertation. He now focuses on enjoying life with his partner. You can read more of his work at Dissertation Help.