Myths About Aging

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Look around you.  Advertising touts youth and life is better when you are young!  Well, contrary to the stereotype of later life as a time of loneliness, depression and decline, scientific research show that in many ways, life gets better as we get older.

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Friendships are more meaningful as older adults prioritize what is important to them.  Think back to your 20’s when you had a stable of friends willing to have fun with you.  Now, less friends but they are the type of friends that will stick around through anything, otherwise you would not be friends with them.  Older adults typically report better marriages, more supportive friendships and less conflict with children and the workplace.

Workers 55 or older make up 22% of the US labor force, up from 12% in 1992.  Economics may be driving this but a desire to be productive and contribute is also common.  Older workers bring a plethora of experience; know how to avoid errors and in general are easy to get along with.  They also aren’t entitled and are happy to earn every dollar they make.

Older adults tend to be creative too.  Many artists, poets, and novelists have put forth their best work as older adults.  Experimental artists improve with experience.  Some examples are Mark Twain, Frank Lloyd Wright and Virginian Woolf.  These artists rely on wisdom which can be  the ability to solve problems by seeing different perspectives and,  wisdom increases with age.

Granted, there are those older adults who have health ailments that take a toll on physical and mental health.  Still, those that fall into the stereotype of being depressed, irritable and and cranky make up no more than 10% of the older population.  Sure, things creak and one can’t remember what they had for breakfast yesterday but the important message is to embrace your age and live it without any regrets for the past.

 

Source:WSJ 12/1/14 Why Everything You Know About Aging Is Probably Wrong
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