Read about the truth behind common old-age myths, ensuring you can maintain a healthy body and mind in later life.
Getting older is something that many of us fear, for different reasons. One common reason is the way that society and the media portrays old age as something that should be feared.
There are many myths associated with getting older that are unhelpful and inaccurate. However, it is important to take some myths seriously, but as a form of protecting the quality of your golden years.
Here are 5 old-age myths about ageing you need to take seriously:
1. Getting Older Means You Will Suffer From Loneliness
It is important to know that loneliness isn’t inevitable as you age. However, it is also important to understand that it can happen due to circumstances beyond your control. Avoiding loneliness, on the other hand, is within your control. You must reach out to neighbours, friends, family, charities and your local council if you are struggling with loneliness. Over two fifths of the elderly say the TV is their main form of company, but that doesn’t have to be you.
2. Getting Older Leads To Lack of Mobility
Getting older does not have to guarantee poor health. However, you should have a greater awareness of your physical health as you age, to prevent the body slowing down. Staying active is so important to keep your muscles strong and flexible, to maintain bone strength and a healthy heart. If you are still living independently at home, you’re in charge of your physical health. There are many simple activities that will keep you fit both in mind and body.
3. You Will Lose Your Memory
Losing your memory is not a guaranteed part of ageing. Your processing slows down but other parts of your mind like language skills are thought to peak in later life! However, it is important to keep your mind active in order to prevent your memory degrading. Learn new things, do puzzles, join a quizzing team, interact with others and keep your brain stimulated for a healthy brain in later life.
4. You Won’t Enjoy Food Any More
Your taste buds are not as sharp as you age, which happens regardless of whether or not you still have your own teeth. Dentures can, of course, also have an affect on how much you enjoy food. However, it is important to know that there are amazing options for dental health these days, including alternatives to dentures. Your nutrition is really important, and that is the part of this myth you have to pay attention to. You can still enjoy food but more importantly, the right food can help you maintain good health in old age. If you are struggling with cooking yourself food at home, it might be worth finding out about a meal delivery service.
5. You’ll End Up In A Care Home
The earlier that you look at your care options, the more choice you will have, and the more time to make the right decision. Care homes are not the only option even though many people do move into care homes. This is often because they think that is their only choice, or a crisis happens and the decision is taken out of their hands.
Whilst you are healthy and able to make your own decisions, you can make arrangements to ensure you get the kind of care you want should you need it, such as a Healthcare Power of Attorney. It does not have to be a care home, in fact there are plenty of options, including live-in care, that mean you can maintain your independence away from a residential care placement. The key is researching and organising care as early as you can.
Old-age myths should not be something to fear but you do need to be realistic about later-life. You do have some control over your physical and mental health and over the type of later life you want. Taking responsibility for that as much as possible can help your golden years be as good as you want them to be.