If you are holding onto some common myths about aging that involve an inactive, solitary lifestyle spent in a rocking chair in front of the TV day in and day out, it is time for you to think again! The secret to healthy aging is understanding the facts and debunking the myths to embrace a healthier, active lifestyle regardless of age.
Depression Is Part of Aging
While loneliness and isolation can cause feelings of sadness, depression is not a typical aspect of the aging process. In fact, studies have shown that older adults are less inclined to experience depression than younger adults. Still, if you believe an older loved one is struggling with depression, there are effective treatment plans available. Consult with the doctor for assistance.
You Can’t Learn New Things
In reality, the opposite is true. Lifelong learning is crucial to keeping cognitive functioning as sharp as possible. Recent research revealed improved brain health in individuals who learned a new skill or enrolled in a course or book club. And, the social rewards that come along with learning something new are an extra bonus!
Say Goodbye to an Active Lifestyle
Exercise is essential for all of us, no matter the age. While the risk of falling is unquestionably something to consider, there are many ways to remain physically active that are appropriate regardless of any chronic health conditions or concerns. Ask the physician for recommendations first, but in general, low impact activities like balance/strengthening exercises, swimming, and tai chi are often an excellent starting point.
Time to Give Up the Keys
There’s a common assumption that as we get older, we all will have to give up the car keys. While there are health problems that can make driving hazardous, such as decreased vision or dementia, many older adults can continue to safely drive – often more safely, in fact, than younger drivers. Regular physical exams will guide the physician in determining when and if it’s time to give up the car keys.
Mom Had Dementia, Which Means You Will, Too
While genes do play a role in a person’s risk of dementia, there are certain other factors that are within our control to decrease that risk. The lifestyle choices we make, such as eating healthy, staying physically active, keeping blood pressure levels in check, and not smoking, are all great protective measures.
No Need to Quit Smoking Now
Perhaps you know an older adult who feels that they have smoked their whole lives and have not had any major problems, so there is no sense in stopping now. However, research has shown that quitting smoking brings instantaneous health benefits – within a matter of hours, actually. First, there’s a decline in the carbon monoxide levels in the blood. Within a few weeks, lung function increases and circulation improves. There is also a reduction in cold and flu symptoms, reduced risk for pneumonia and bronchitis, and a lowered risk for lung disease, cancer, and heart disease.
Let Absolute Companion Care’s experts in dementia care in Towson, MD and the nearby areas help the older adults you love enjoy this time of life in the most healthy and happy way possible! Reach out to us at 410-357-9640 to learn about the numerous ways we can help.