Read about common ageing myths and the truth behind them to help you unlock a healthier future in later life.
The media and society tells us a lot about ageing, much of which is true, but that isn’t to say you should believe everything you see, hear and read. In fact, it is important to search out the truth when it comes to your later years so you can understand exactly how much control you have over your own destiny. For instance, here are 5 myths about ageing you shouldn’t believe
1. Most People Develop Dementia When They Get Older
Yes, as you get older you may see a decline in your memory but that doesn’t mean you’ll develop dementia. You can still function well when it comes to speech, language and problem solving you may just be a little slower. That is a very different thing from a dementia diagnosis so it’s important to understand what dementia is and what it isn’t. If you do become one of the 850,000 people with dementia in the UK then an early diagnosis can help slow down the progression of the disease by treating it sooner.
2. You Can’t Learn Anything New When You Are Older
Of course you can, in fact it is encouraged. Plenty of businesses very much appreciate the wisdom and experience of the older generations, and multiple generation living is making a resurgence as families recognise the benefit of younger children spending time with their grandparents. Your knowledge is of benefit to society, and by embracing learning new things like languages and other skills, you give yourself the best chance of a sharp mind in later life.
3. You Will End Up In Pain
You are more likely to develop painful conditions like arthritis as you age, but it isn’t inevitable and you can work towards preventing it. Exercising regularly and building strength in muscles and bones can help maintain mobility and flexibility in your body.
4. You’ll Be Lonely
There are some shocking statistics relating to loneliness among the elderly in the UK, but it isn’t something that has to happen. What you do have to do, is learn to accept that you have to reach out to gain companionship. Whether you ask a charity to help get you to coffee mornings, join a local club or speak to friends and family about getting some support at home, loneliness does not have to be your experience of later life.
5. You Can’t Exercise As You Did Before
Of course you can, in fact, keeping exercise up as you age is really important. They do say ‘move it or lose it’ and that is not a myth. Maintaining mobility is so important to keep you active as you age. If you are struggling with mobility, it could be worth talking to your doctor, physiotherapist or other healthcare professional about age-appropriate exercise classes that could help keep you active.
Later life does make you more prone to certain issues and conditions, but nothing is a guarantee and often, your golden years are what you make them. With a focus on physical and mental health, support, mobility and companionship, your later life can be wonderful.