Ageing is often associated with decline but it’s important to separate fact from fiction. Everything that we have heard that goes with ageing is not all true. The author, in the article below, has tried to highlight the myths around the ageing process that we often take for granted. Read on and make your own assessment about how ageing actually pans out. Team RetyrSmart
Your best years may still be ahead of you. Ignore these myths about ageing
- Old People Stop Learning
Common thought is that as we age, we stop learning. The truth couldn’t be further from the myth.New research has shown that while our processing speed may slow as we age, other mental functions like language, vocabulary and speech actually improve as we get older! Moreover, while some brain functions may decline, it doesn’t just disappear and we can do a lot to improve the brain’s performance as we age.
- Everyone Who Gets Old, Gets Dementia
There’s been a lot of talk about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in recent years. And while it’s true that one person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 68 seconds, the good news is it’s not even close to inevitable.
Moreover, we now know that there are several things you yourself can do to delay and reduce, and even avoid the symptoms of dementia. For example, exercising, staying mentally fit and eating properly.
So the next time you forget your keys or misplace your wallet, relax. Odds are you were distracted and it has nothing to do with dementia.
- Age Brings Weakness
Older folks are often seen as frail, weak and fragile. While it’s certainly true that our body mass can get smaller and our bones weaker as we age, it has more to do with inactivity than aging itself.
While sedentary adults can lose up to 30% of their muscle fibre as they age into their 80’s, the balance of your muscle fibre can more than make up for the loss if you grow them through exercise. Again, aging itself is not the largest factor contributing to elderly frailty, it’s lack of exercise.
The lesson? Keep active throughout your life to maintain your strength.
- Older Adults Can’t Adapt to New Technologies
Think of this. They created, learned, used and migrated from the record, to the 8 track, to the tape to the CD to the MP3 to streaming. From the cinema, to the drive-in, to VHS, Betamax, DVD and streaming. From newsprint to the iPad. And from the dial phone to a smart phone.
Every habit is hard to break. But give the Baby Boomer generation credit for moving on from old habits and embracing the promise of new technologies in all facets of their life to a larger extent than any other generation in history.
- You Lose Creativity as You Get Older
There’s a lot of misconception around creativity and age. Aging alone doesn’t reduce your creativity. In fact, there are plenty of examples of people who created new songs, poems, art, inventions and discoveries well into their adult life.
Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud, J.R.R. Tolkein all created some of their most important works after the age of 55.
- You Lose Your Sex Drive as You Age
One study actually showed that sexual frequency declined for every American age group except seniors over the age of 70!  Another study revealed that 30% of adults over the age of 70 were having sex at least twice a month.
So now you can look forward to having more sex when you’re older than you’re having now. Take that father time!
- Aging Brings Loneliness
While it certainly happens, it’s not inevitable by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it the norm. The truth is, many seniors have more time to meet new people than they’ve ever had before.
With that new found freedom, older adults discover new pursuits such as cards, dancing, exercise, book clubs, discussion groups, church, volunteerism and classes. Some have their own group of friends, while others meet people at senior centers, the library, the local Y or in retirement communities that have more activities than a summer camp!
- Growing Old Means Loss of Meaning and Purpose
In our work obsessed culture, where our identities are so often defined by our jobs, we often view retirees as lacking purpose. If you’re not working, you’re not being productive.
But age has nothing to do with someone’s loss of purpose. You can derive meaning and make a difference by being an involved grandparent, volunteering, involving yourself in local or national politics, or performing daily acts of kindness.
Any of those activities can be considered more meaningful and purposeful than many of the jobs we held as younger adults.
- Old People Are Depressed
While it is true that older adults suffer from depression, just like all other age groups, the numbers are far from overwhelming. In fact, of those over the age of 60, only 7% suffer from depression. Put another way, 93% of older adults do not suffer from depression.
How do you avoid depression in your later years? Maintain a strong network of family and friends. Stay involved in your community. Stay healthy, active and eat well.