I don’t know why there is such a stigma about aging; aging should be like an emblem that shows that you survived long enough to celebrate your 60th birthday. Four centuries or so back, you should be so grateful if you lived past 30 years. However, with the advance in technology and medicine, our life expectancy is increasing.
However, thanks to the internet and ageism, there are many myths out there about aging. We all have a preconceived notion of what aging should be like and what it is supposed to be, but most of this is based on movies and not backed up by statistics. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of the most popular myths about aging.
According to the Population Reference Bureau, people who are 65 and older make up about 20% of the US population in 2019, and every day, about 10 000 baby boomers turn 65 around the globe. When comparing the 2019 and 2012 numbers, we can clearly see a 5% rise in the US’ aging population.
#Myth 1- They aren’t interested in the world
People who are above 65 use the internet a lot, and they are far from being past TV watchers. One interesting number that backs up this idea is that more than 100 000 individuals are 50 and above who participate in the non-profit Road Scholar experiential learning program each year to understand other cultures and nationalities around the globe.
The non-profit Road Scholar shows that they are still involved in academics and learn a lot even at their age. Some people o this out of necessity, while others do this to get involved in new cultures and pass their time after retirement. This debunks the myth that older people are not interested in the world around them.
#Myth 2- They aren’t interested in intimacy or sex
The myth at large when it comes to aging is a degree in sexual urges, and this is far from the truth. According to a 2017 University of Michigan National Poll on healthy aging, this idea is not entirely true. This poll mainly focuses on a national sample of adults aged between 50 to 80 years and their ideas and perception about sex and relationships.
This poll found that 65% of the respondents were still interested in sex and more than 76% of them agreed that sex is still an essential part of a romantic relationship at any age. On top of that, about 40% of them have indicated that they were still sexually active.
Other studies have also consistently found that there is still an association between one’s overall well-being and positive sexual activity, even among seniors. While it is true that there is a general decline in the frequency of sexual activity as one ages, according to one study conducted by the Journal of Sexual Medicine, people over 50 have greater enjoyment during sexual activity with their partners.
#Myth 3- They are impoverished
According to statics, older people are better off than during the last 5 decades. According to a study conducted by Congressional Research Service on poverty and the elderly, they stated that:
“The poverty rate among Americans aged 65 and older has declined by almost 70 percent in the past five decades.”
However, it is important to demarcate that older people are still struggling financially, and one of the most flagrant examples of this is older African Americans in the US. The poverty rate among the latter was 19.3%, and that among the older Hispanic population was 17%.
#Myth 4- They don’t want or need close relationships
Human beings are social creatures, and no matter how introverted you may be, we all need and tend to crave human and social interaction. We are social animals, and we need a tribe, no matter if that’s our blood relative or our chosen family. We thrive in society, and the need for meaningful relationships doesn’t necessarily diminish with age.
However, as we get older, there are fewer people who can relate to our journey and lived-in experiences, and this is why at times, older people may seem reserved, and they have some physical and mental barriers that arise due to old age. However, older people are just like you and me, and they also want people to share their life and journey with.
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