It is obvious that with age, human body slowly degrades over time leaving the lasting effects in the physical and mental health of a person. Old people are comparatively weaker than their own former self and their mental stature might not be at as best in contrast to their younger version. But, ageist stereotypes have certain beliefs that depict old people as too weak, demented or on the contrary, too wise. One might think, even with the level of education this generation receives, people are still unknown about the most basic things. This article has been written to demystify those myths and set a clear light on reality.
Myth #1: Above 60 are Old
What is ‘being old’ anyway? This generation seems to have the idea that anyone that has crossed the mark of 60 is old and are vulnerable to diseases, weakness and variety of other ‘stuffs’ which supposedly happens to all old people, according to the popular beliefs. This is simply a myth. Granted, health is affected with ageing, but that does not simply mean that anyone above 60 is in the shadow of death. While they might feel less active than their younger self, someone who regularly exercises and eat healthy can stay fit even at 75.
Myth #2: Old People are Cranky and Unhappy
Most believe that people get irrationally irritable and cranky with age. The thought of having a conversation with old people immediately sparks the imagination of getting yelled at for most. But, researchers have debunked this myth loud and clear now. Variety of researches concluded that the happiness or any other emotions for that matter had nothing to with age. Middle-aged men also tallied equal to old folks in the happiness radar.
Myth #3: Old Folks are Incapable of Mobility
People immediately assume senior citizens to be in wheelchairs or sleeping all the time. Contrary to the popular myth, old folks are more than capable of walking about on their own and not all of them require special care. In fact, the number of senior citizens who require 24/7 assistants are significantly lower than the ones who are capable of mobility.
Myth #4: They Lack Work Efficiency
Most folks retire after a certain age and happily live off pensions. While it is not considered an appropriate age for old people to work, it has been seen that those who do are unbelievably efficient. Senior citizens have been seen to be punctual and reliable, something half our generation is yet to learn.
Myth #5: Old Dogs can’t learn New Tricks
It is natural that creative aspect and the ability to learn should slow down with the growing age. However, this does not mean that they are incapable of learning at all. Even though the pace of learning might vary from one person to another, there are plenty of examples of folks who took on a new challenge late in their life and took on a language course, started singing and so on.
Myths #6: No Trips to the Bonetown
This one got started out of nowhere. It’s unimaginably gross to think about two oldies ‘at’ it, but doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Quite a few believe that most people aren’t interested in opposite sex at all, but recent studies show otherwise. A group of old people confessed that their in-active sexual life was not because of their in-ability or disinterest, but due to the lack of a partner.
It goes without saying that sexual drive of a person decreases with age, which is by no means decisive that old folks are incapable. Besides, there are various methods for the old folks to get back in the ‘game’.
Myth #7: Keep Away from Technology
Again, this is just a myth. They didn’t grow up side-by-side with technology, like we did. And, senior citizens in developing countries might not even be aware about the possibilities of growing technological innovation, but that cannot be deemed as old folks keeping away. That is simply lack of privilege. Surprisingly, there are countless number of senior citizens on social media and even dating sites.
Myth #8: Constant Moodiness and Stubbornness
Ageing alone is not the responsible factor for the mental stature of a person. Old people are often left to stay alone, and they aren’t allowed any free will. Moodiness would be the least of your emotions if you were put through the same circumstances. Additionally, some people are naturally stubborn and moody. It’s not the age factor, it’s just who they are.
Myth #9: Old People are Wise and Insightful
Like we previously discussed, not all old people are moody or stubborn. Similarly, not everyone is wise and insightful. While the phrase ‘Wisdom with age’ might hold true for some, it is true for most. Age does add the advantage of experience, but some people just fail to understand logic and their irrationality remains unchanged.
Myth #10: Obsessed with Death
It is not impossible that some folks might constantly ponder about the idea of death and worry themselves till their last breath. But, that does not hold true for everyone. Most folks I have met have accepted the idea of death and acknowledge that like everything that has ever come into existence their legacy will also end.
It’s simple human nature, and each one varies with another.