Aging. Not a topic that comes up regularly. Well, it does around here! But most of the time, I’ve found people are incredibly uncomfortable talking about getting older. Do you blame them? Where some cultures celebrate the elderly, U.S. culture likes to hide them away. Most people are terrified about wrinkles and all that comes with them.
In our line of work, we spend a lot of time with the aging. And you know what we’ve found? Seniors are actually pretty darn happy. Happier than their younger counterparts even! So what is the truth behind aging? Here are some aging myths, debunked.
Myth 1: You can’t do as much when you get older.
Last year, there were 88 NYC marathon runners over the age of 75. (http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/nyc-marathons-oldest-runners-howd-they-do/) Amazing! Just because you get older doesn’t mean your body won’t work for you. Yes, the body does change as you get older. There’s no denying that. But you have to remember the all-too-true saying, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” Taking care of your body before you reach your golden years means you’ll have more functionality as an older adult. If you’re 40 and sit at an office job all day and on the couch all night, you can’t expect much more in your 80s.
Not only are miraculous fitness feats possible in older age, but there are more opportunities to do the things you want! Retirement affords the time to get out there and check off those bucket list items. Want to travel to Europe or learn how to ski? All those things are possible without a 9 to 5 getting in the way!
Myth 2: You won’t look as good when you get older.
Have you seen photos of aging models? If you have, this myth wouldn’t exist. I’m paticularly stricken by Carmen Dell’Orefice who at 15 was a Vogue cover model and now in her 80s, still is as beautiful as ever. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2355862/Carmen-DellOrefice-82-year-old-model-reveals-secrets-lasting-success.html) Aging doesn’t have to mean wrinkles ruin your face. Yes, you’ll have more wrinkles, your hair may turn gray. But who’s to say that isn’t beautiful? If you care about the wrinkles and the crows feet, it will consume you. Instead of hiding them, embrace them!
Myth 3: Your next step is a cold, sterile nursing home.
Trust me you NEVER have to live in a nursing home. Today there are so many options for elders that break stereotypes of the cold, sterile halls of a traditional nursing home. Tabitha’s Green House Homes and residential living are small homes where caregivers provide skilled nursing care, but in a home-like environment. The concept gives individuals the opportunity to live in a home, even if they need nursing care.
Learn more about how you can embrace the aging journey through Tabitha’s weekly radio show, Answers on Aging. It airs every Saturday morning, 9:30 a.m. cst on KFOR 1240AM, 103.3FM in the Lincoln, Neb. area. Listen to shows from anywhere in the world right here on our blog!