There are so many decisions to be made about what we want our retirements to look like. The fact is that any man or woman in their sixties has so much more life to live and new experiences to discover. Age may seem like a large determining factor of what you can and cannot achieve in your older life. This, could be the biggest misconception that is explored today. Age is more than a number; it is a mindset and your physical body will stay younger for longer the more you take care of it.
We may think we know what aging entails, but the reality is that post-retirement life is as individual and unique as any working life. Here are 7 common misconceptions about growing older:
Being a senior is lonely and isolated
This is simply not true. Humans are naturally social creatures, who thrive amongst community. The same way our lives are bettered by the family, friends and communities we surround ourselves with growing up does not change as we grow older. Thanks to advances in communication, the progress of retirement communities and ubiquity of modern travel, you do not have to worry so much about your loved ones becoming inaccessible over distance or time. Not to mention, seniors will continue to make new friends and meet new people as you have over your entire life.
Your health will always be determined by family history
A very common misconception is that your health outcomes will match those of your parents and grandparents. Yes, genetics do have a small impact on your health outcomes and longevity, however there are a multitude of other factors that play a much larger role in determining your overall wellbeing. Your health is more likely to be influenced by other factors, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, sleeping well, not smoking and drinking less and taking care of your mental health.
Seniors are weak or frail
It is often assumed that old people will, inevitably, lose their physical strength, mobility and resilience. This is absolutely not true, staying active and exercising regularly can help you build muscle, develop your flexibility and improve your bone density well-into your older years. Activities like yoga, swimming, daily walks, gardening and even household chores can all help keep you fit and in tiptop shape. This can include decreasing your blood pressure and incredible benefits for your mental health, such as preventing symptoms of anxiety, depression or senility.
All old people are senile
Many older people do experience some forgetfulness and a slight slowing in their problem-solving ability, but this is a far cry from becoming senile or suffering from dementia. Keeping your wherewithal and maintaining your mental capacity is more than a possibility. Symptoms of age-related mental decline, like all other symptoms of aging, can be thwarted by a variety of mental and physical activities. Staying physically active, maintaining a nutritious and balanced diet, learning new skills and keeping up with old ones can all help you keep your mental acuity even into your senior years.
Older people struggle to learn new skills
Teaching seniors’ new skills, or seniors learning new skills themselves, is much more common than people think. While the speed and ways in which we learn may change over time, ongoing research suggests that our ability to learn remains steady as we age. We develop, grow and craft our ability to learn new skills over many decades and these tools and information-gathering abilities continue to serve us as we grow older.
Old people are terrified of technology
There is seemingly endless rhetoric about old people being confused, intimidated or, possibly, terrified by new technology. This could not be further from the truth, seniors around the world are exploring new technologies, such as the computers, cell phones and the internet, every single day. Smart devices and the incredible advancements in video calls and instant messaging have proven to be an amazing way for seniors to stay in-touch with there family and friends, despite potential growth in physical distance.
Seniors should not be part of making important life decisions
A common – and dangerous – misconception is that with age seniors will begin to lose their ability to think clearly and their interest in life-altering decisions. This goes as far as to assume that they cannot track current events or even some events in their own orbit. This is wrong.
Involving seniors in the decision-making process is actually a critical means of keeping them engaged, happy, secure and fulfilled. Important decisions regarding their personal healthcare and finances or selling their home and moving into a retirement community should always include the person who if affects most and who has the most to gain from making good life decisions.
For years, Manor Retirement has avoided these misconceptions and have treated all of our retirees with the respect and dignity that they have earned and deserve in their post-work life. Our retirement villages have fostered supportive and engaging communities that help so many thrive in their retirement. For more information, contact us at Manor Retirement.