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Our perception of when older age is will vary depending upon how old we are. A child thinks all adults are old and when you’re in your 60s you may think older age is in your 80s or 90s. However, some people in their 60s consider they themselves to be old.
This is an important issue because of the many ideas we equate with being older which give ageing a very negative press.
Dictionary definitions of old or ageing include terms like “antiquated, dilapidated, bygone, worn out, frayed, past it, worn out…………..” so it’s no surprise that we have formed negative views of the word old when applied to ourselves.
The fact is that age is just a number so why is it we see it as such a bleak vision?
Ladies aged 60 in 2021 on average have a life expectancy of a further 25 years and men 23 years. Choosing how to spend that time is the question but I often hear people limiting themselves because of the mis-beliefs they have for those later years.
Let’s bust a few myths.
One of the bigger myths is that developing some form of dementia is inevitable. This is not the case. Whilst, sadly there will be some people who suffer a cognitive decline, it is around 7% of the population that are living with dementia. Being a bit forgetful is a trait commonly thought to be a precursor to developing dementia but the fact is that in our busy lives we are all a bit forgetful at times. If you’re at all concerned about your memory the simplest thing is to consult your GP rather than worry about it.
There are different types of dementia and some of the causes are unclear which makes it difficult to say definitively how to prevent it. The current advice from experts is to follow a healthy lifestyle; eat healthy food and maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke, don’t overindulge alcohol, keep active, maintain good social activity and to keep learning new things, do puzzles and crosswords. If you have any health problems then make sure you comply with the advice from your medical teams.
Come back tomorrow and we’ll bust some more myths on ageing.
The end goal is a bonus - it's the journey that changes us