1. Senior Citizens Are Not As Frail As You Think
Older adults are more active than ever before. From daily walks, laps in the pool and 5-mile hikes, your grandparents are likely putting younger generations to shame. English people are living longer, and seniors want to take care of their health and be active for as long as possible.
Older adults are living independently well into their seventies and eighties, and are capable of doing as much (if not more) than middle-aged populations. “Frail and Incompetent” – This stereotype is busted!
2. Senior Citizens Are Still Active in the Workforce
One perception of many senior citizens is that they are old, enfeebled people who mainly keep to themselves. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are currently more than 5 million senior citizens who are active in the workforce right now. Also, seniors comprise the majority of entrepreneurs across the globe! And when you look at who currently owns the most businesses in the United States, seniors do at a higher rate than any other age demographic.
3. Poverty Affects Seniors Too
Roughly 10% of seniors live in poverty. As the economy goes up and down, seniors may find their assets either appreciating or depreciating in value due to factors outside of their control. Without the insurance of being able to work for an income, some seniors could find themselves unexpectedly in debt. The rising cost of healthcare, medications, assisted living and other needs can pile up, so seniors need to ensure they are on top of their finances.
4. Seniors Don’t Appreciate Being Belittled
Ageism is a hot topic these days. No one wants to feel discriminated against for any reason, and seniors don’t appreciate the false assumption that they’re all the same. As long as our society values youth and physical beauty as the most meaningful human attribute, there will always be some people who look down upon the elderly. What can we do to break down erroneous beliefs and misconceptions? It’s simple. Have more conversations with older adults.
Don’t jump on the bandwagon and believe everything you’ve heard about seniors. The next time you end up sitting next to an older adult on the bus or your local cafe, strike up a meaningful discussion and learn what really makes them tick.You’ll begin to understand ageism through the eyes of an older person and see for yourself that seniors can’t be confined to any label or box.
5. Older Adults Often Lead Exciting Lives
Tango much? Seniors do! They also take scuba lessons, go horseback riding and live by the motto, “live life to the fullest.” Sure, there are physical limitations of the aging body, but older adults often feel “a new lease on life” and inspired to live to the absolute fullest with their remaining years. There is time to be creative, learn a new hobby and discover new passions. Additionally, with age, there’s gratitude for the insignificant details in life. Gratefulness for small and trivial things creates a sense of personal fulfillment and inner joy that younger generations generally don’t understand or appreciate.
6. Parents Will Always Worry About Their Children
You may be forty years old, have a successful career and happy home, but mama is still going to worry about you! Your parents may not call you twice a day to find out how a stressful meeting or unexpected health scare turned out, but they’re thinking about it! Parents respect that you’re a grown up and entitled to make decisions for yourself.
The dad who “oversteps” or the mom who’s “invasive and intrusive” are words that every parent dreads hearing from their grown children. Don’t mistake fewer phone calls or inquiries into your personal life as a lack of concern. This is your parent’s way of saying that they respect you as an adult who can find solutions independently.
7. Seniors Worry About Other Things As Well
Things that mattered thirty years ago don’t matter as much in later life. With age, you tend to let go of attachments, and a byproduct of that is less fear and worry. This is not to say that older adults don’t worry at all – they do. Seniors often wonder if they lived life to the fullest, loved their children enough or if declining health will worsen or improve. There is immense comfort in seeing yourself as part of something that will go on after you die. For some seniors, children provide a sense of fulfillment and purpose. For others, religion and spirituality provide an inner calmness that sends a clear message – “It’s going to be okay after I’m gone.”
8. Senior Citizens Still Have Sex
According to the National Poll on Healthy Aging, over 40% of Seniors are still having sex, and 73% report that they are satisfied with their sex lives. Sex can be an important factor in promoting mental and physical health in the elderly.
9. Senior Citizens Still Drive, Even if They Shouldn’t Be on the Road
According to AAA, about 80% of seniors own a vehicle and drive it regularly. However, only 1% of senior deaths are attributed to a motor vehicle accident, and they are more likely to have crashes at intersections than all different age demographics. Elderly men are 3 times more likely to die from car accidents than women. Although there are many jokes about the elderly driving too slowly, they are just as likely to get pulled over for speeding.