Top Stereotypes About Seniors Debunked

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Debunking the Top Stereotypes About Aging Adults

By Glenn Krakow, 9:00 am on

Stereotypes of older adults are found in everything from print advertising to movies and television shows, which has led to many misconceptions about the aging process. By looking beyond these stereotypes, it becomes easier to understand and communicate with the senior adult in your life.

All Seniors Are Unhappy and Lonely

Changes associated with aging may put seniors at risk for depression and isolation, but the stereotype that all seniors are irritable and lonely is far from the truth. An individual’s attitude and personality have more to do with their level of happiness than age. A 2012 study of over 10,000 adults in the United States and the United Kingdom conducted by the University of Warwick found that older adults were actually happier than younger adults. Researchers in Heidelberg, Germany, spoke with 40 centenarians about their happiness. Approximately 70 percent of those interviewed said they laughed often, and 71 percent described themselves as happy. 

Though social isolation could be an issue for aging adults with limited mobility, they can remain socially engaged with the help of professional caregivers. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same senior care services. El Dorado County families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

People Become Less Productive as They Get Older

Older adults have spent years honing their organizational and problem-solving skills, which can make them extremely productive. When compared to their younger counterparts, older employees tend to have lower tardiness and absentee rates. Seniors also contribute countless volunteer hours each year to various community organizations. For example, former President Jimmy Carter still volunteers with Habitat for Humanity at the age of 92. 

Aging Dulls Brain Function

Reaction times can slow with age, but seniors have years of experience and knowledge that allow them to outperform younger adults in certain areas. The brain is a muscle, and it will continue to develop new connections as long as it is exercised, which makes older adults capable of learning new skills. A case in point is the renowned artist Grandma Moses who did not begin painting until her late 70s.

Aging adults are susceptible to Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline, but participating in social activities may help them maintain a sense of purpose. Seniors with Alzheimer’s have much to gain when their families opt for professional Alzheimer’s care. El Dorado County, California, families can rely on compassionate and dedicated caregivers to help their elderly loved ones manage the various challenges of Alzheimer’s disease so they can enjoy a higher quality of life.

Seniors Are Unable to Adapt to Change

Many people confuse firmly held opinions with an inability to adapt to change. Older adults have been through many challenges that have required them to make changes in their lives. While seniors may be slower to change opinions based on years of experience, they have mastered the art of fighting off challenges.

Older Adults Are Not Interested in Sex

Age does not necessarily decrease sexual desire and interest. Healthy seniors who have partners are as likely to engage in sex as younger adults. A study conducted by the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging found that approximately 60 percent of seniors interviewed reported having regular sexual experiences during the prior year.

Healthy aging is possible, so don’t believe the stereotypes about seniors. Today’s seniors are living healthy, vibrant, and exciting lives past the age of 65 with little to no specialized assistance. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. El Dorado County, California, respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. To create a customized senior care plan for your loved one, give us a call at (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 today.