Ageing - a continuous adventure?
How do you feel about getting older? Do you believe the model that says old age is all about decline? Do you greet all signs of greying or receding hair with horror? A sign that everything else will soon deteriorate?
In fact, while muscle tone and physical strength do statistically decline with age (though you can do a lot to reduce this) here are a few things that we can reasonably expect to increase as we age...
Breadth of knowledge
Willingness to stand up for your beliefs
Resilience to the judgements of others
Appreciation of beauty
Love and appreciation of others
Happiness is a great example. There is a widespread myth that old age brings sadness and depression. However, study after study has shown that happiness increases over the age of 55 - here's a graph from one study:
Myths about Ageing
Why are myths harmful?
Views such as those below which are often assumed to be true contribute to stereotypical views about ageing.
These in turn contribute to ageist policies and behaviour towards older people, throughout society.
As with other forms of unconscious bias, older people themselves are not immune and may internalise these negative beliefs, creating low self-esteem and internalised ageism.
Hence it is really important that we all, as individuals, challenge our assumptions about ageing.
OK, but ageing isn't a breeze is it? Not for wimps..
Article about the challenges being different and new...not part of Erikson's life stages, we are breaking new ground - many people talking about the Third Act - Jane Fonda's Ted Talk - the 100 year life -it is down to each one of us to find our own path. But one thing is sure - we don't want or need the same things when we are 60 as we did when we were 30. To be continued...here's what some people say:
Articles to add in:
The 100 year Life
How to Age