Major Misunderstandings about the Golden Years

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Most Common Misunderstandings about Getting Older in Massachusetts

Some people fully embrace the things that tend to be associated with the later years of life, such as having more time to fully pursue interests. However, there are some lingering misconceptions about aging that may cause seniors to have unfounded fears about getting older. Below are some of the top misconceptions about aging and the truth behind each one.

Brainpower Naturally Diminishes with Age

Yes, some older adults do develop dementia, and cognitive capabilities decrease to some extent with age. But this doesn’t mean seniors can’t do things to retain or boost recall, problem-solving, abstract reasoning, and other important cognitive skills. In fact, aging adults are often able to enjoy a brainpower boost with:

• Mentally stimulating activities such as board games or word puzzles
• Efforts to learn new things
• Regular social engagement
• Physical exercise to increase circulation to the brain

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Wellesley families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Older People Aren’t Happy

The stereotypical “grumpy senior” is perceived as disagreeable and unhappy. In reality, many older adults today are generally happy—a fact backed up by results from a recent UK study that found seniors to be the happiest age group. While some older adults may have emotional difficulties for one reason or another, there are many resources available to help seniors handle later life changes.

Seniors Prefer to Be Alone

Just because some older adults live alone doesn’t mean they want to be alone socially. The truth is seniors need social interaction and companionship just as much as anyone else. From spending more time with grandchildren and sharing stories or memories with other family members to joining senior-specific groups and exploring opportunities with online engagement, there are many ways for seniors to ward off loneliness and remain connected to other people.

Older Adults Are Sick or Unhealthy

According to the National Council on Aging, roughly 80 percent of older adults report having at least one chronic condition. Even so, simply having underlying health issues doesn’t mean quality of life can’t be maintained. What’s more, many health-related conditions common among seniors can be managed or mitigated with efforts that involve:

• Staying physically active
• Paying attention to doctors’ instructions
• Getting recommended health screenings and vaccinations
• Enjoying a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional homecare. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Seniors Have an Aversion to Technology

Some older adults appreciate the simple things in life, but this doesn’t mean they naturally shy away from newer forms of technology. According to the AARP, more than 30 percent of adults 65 and older have Facebook pages. Also, Pew Research Center reports nearly 70 percent of seniors regularly go online. Additionally, Pew reports smartphone use among older adults continues to rise.

Older Adults Are No Longer Interested in Intimacy

This misconception lingers because there’s not much research available on this particular aspect of senior health. However, results from a National Poll on Healthy Aging conducted by the University of Michigan suggest intimacy is important for seniors. Sixty percent of survey respondents reported still having an interest in sex, and 40 percent reported being sexually active. The Journal of Sexual Medicine found intimate relationships also contribute to greater enjoyment of life for older adults. 

Aging has its benefits, but it can make daily activities challenging for some seniors. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive 24-hour care. Wellesley seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (781) 239-0060 today.


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