Myths About Aging


Old age is typically associated with difficulties and disabilities. This attitude is so firmly ingrained in our minds that we look upon old age with great apprehension and fear. We should banish this misconception that our golden years will be fraught with misery, ill health and will be unproductive. Instead of fearing old age, why not actively decide to have a happy retired life?

Many notions about old age are untrue or partial truths – we should consider all such notions critically to stay informed and maintain a positive outlook. Some of these myths have been transgressed from olden times, when people had limited options and based their judgments on general observations, which may actually be empirically in correct. Here are some of the common myths associated with old age along with some suggestions on how they can be overcome.

The first myth is �Old age means diseases�. After years of working, your body is entitled to slow down a bit in old age. This does not mean the end of an active outdoor life, but perhaps a change in the kind of activities you undertake. For example, your 3 mile early morning run can be converted to a brisk walk. Keeping diseases at bay in your old age is pretty much in your hands. The right kind of diet and exercise in your forties and fifties will work wonders for the state of your health when you are older. Even when you are older, both diet and exercise will play a major role in the quality of life you will lead.

The second myth is �With the advent of age mind is the first thing to go�. While dementia and Alzheimer�s can cripple a person�s life, mental illnesses can be prevented by exercising the brain adequately. Even in the later years, you can keep your mind functioning perfectly well through mentally stimulating activities. Simple activities like math puzzles, logic puzzles, Sudoku and brain teasers keep your grey cells in good shape as you age. Making new friends, exploring new places and reading books will keep your brain sharp and alert. Music is also a great mind stimulator, explore new forms of music or simply listen to your favorites. Music will not only keep your mind active but also uplift your spirits.

The third myth is �Elderly people have no contribution to make�. This depends entirely on how you wish to live post retirement. Many retirees use their skills to offer consultations and advice to others. Some undertake volunteer work while others take up new hobbies that they never had time for earlier. Find creative and meaningful activities that help you give back to society and make you feel happy at the same time. Teaching under-privileged children, for example, is a very satisfying and noble activity to take up.

With the right attitude, will and focused efforts, you can make your golden years the best years of your life. It�s the period of your life, when time is abundant – make good use of it and enjoy your life.

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