Healthy Aging and Seniors – Is it Possible?
We all know the stereotypes associated with the elderly. There’s the classic “little old lady,” knitting a sweater, possibly rocking away in a rocking chair, and the “grumpy old man,” shaking his cane and yelling at kids to stay off his lawn. However, today’s seniors are healthier, livelier and living exciting and vibrant lives past the age of 65. Some seniors are even running marathons or traveling around the world, proving that these stereotypes are just simply no longer accurate portrayals of the elderly.
While every senior is different, the idea that aging means depression, loneliness and decline in overall health is just not true. Healthy aging is more common than ever, and research even shows that life actually gets better in many ways as we grow older.
The Most Common Myths of Aging
Here are just a few of the myths surrounding the aging process:
- It’s impossible to teach seniors new things. While it’s true that the pace at which we are able to learn may slow down, the ability to learn new things never diminishes. Everyone knows the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but in the case of aging adults, this is simply not true. Seniors today participate in a variety of classes and groups to learn new skills and hobbies.
- Seniors are lonely and miserable. Seniors today are more likely to stay socially engaged than ever before, whether they belong to a golf club, book club, church group, etc., especially those who reside in active retirement communities. Many seniors are involved with family and caring for their grandchildren, too. However, social isolation can become an issue for some seniors as they age in the home, mainly because transportation may start to become inconvenient or dangerous for them.
- Seniors are too frail to exercise. Healthy aging requires healthy living, and seniors need exercise just as much as younger people. Even the frailest of seniors should take part in some sort of physical activity each day, whether it’s water aerobics, tai chi, yoga or taking a walk around their neighborhood. Physical activity helps keep the muscles limber and bones strong, which will aid in avoiding the risk of falls.
- Dementia is a part of the normal aging process. Having those “senior moments” of forgetfulness, like when you can’t remember where you placed your keys is, is vastly different from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. While it is true that dementia is linked to age, studies show that only about 8% of people over the age of 65 have dementia. Early detection is more important than ever, and new medications and treatments are now available that can help slow the disease.
- Seniors can expect to live in poverty as they age. Older adults actually tend to be much better about saving their money and not spending it frivolously than younger generations. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that of Americans aged 65 or older, only around 9% fall under the poverty line.
Senior Wellness Services at Lourdes-Noreen McKeen
Don’t believe the stereotypes and myths of aging! Healthy aging is entirely possible, and many seniors find that their golden years are some of the best years of their lives. At Lourdes-Noreen McKeen in beautiful West Palm Beach, Florida, we focus on healthy aging through a variety of senior wellness services. We offer non-emergency medical services to ensure all healthcare needs of our residents are continually being met, and fitness programs to keep seniors active and socially engaged.