People have varying impressions of old age.
Some people believe that getting older is a beautiful thing and that it offers the perfect opportunity for people to spend quality time with their friends and loved ones. Some people, however, believe that aging is frightening and that people who are getting older lose their freedom and well-being in the process.
Whichever side of the aisle you find yourself on, it’s undeniable that there are disadvantages to aging, and many people dread it because of that. Luckily, there are several smart ways to combat those disadvantages and ensure that aging is as graceful and enjoyable as possible.
Read on to learn more.
13 Ways to Beat the “Disadvantages” of Getting Older
Aging, just like anything else, is a battle of mind over matter.
While it’s true that we can’t prevent certain chronic diseases by maintaining a positive outlook, it’s also true that we can make the process of aging much more enjoyable and civil by maintaining a sense of optimism. Whether you’re a senior interested in improving your quality of life, or a senior’s loved one who wants to help boost outlook and create a happier, healthier lifestyle for the person you love, here are thirteen smart ways to do it.
1. Seniors feel as if life is “passing them by.”
Seniors often feel that they have become irrelevant. In many cases, a senior’s spouse has died, and the person’s social relationships may have declined from what they used to be.
In these cases, it’s easy for older people to become depressed or to feel neglected and forgotten. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be a given for all seniors.
Instead, it’s easy to combat this “disadvantage” by ensuring that seniors are included in family gatherings, social events, and community affairs. In addition to combatting feelings of loneliness, this also helps to encourage the development of new relationships and experiences.
2. Dating can be difficult
Encourage seniors to join like-minded groups, clubs, and organizations. While dating may look different at 70 than it did at 17, it’s far from impossible, and many seniors find that they sincerely enjoy dating at an older age.
3. Seniors often feel tired and worn out
While it’s normal for older adults to feel less energetic and outgoing than they used to, it’s not normal to expect to spend every waking moment of the day in seclusion because of it. Instead of feeling worn out all the time, seniors can boost their energy by engaging in exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of high-quality rest, and spending time with family and friends. If tiredness persists, a trip to the doctor may be in order, as certain supplements may help boost energy levels.
4. Exercise and activity can be trying or painful
To stay in optimal health, seniors need to stay active. Unfortunately, this often becomes more difficult with age. To keep joints, bones, and the cardiovascular system healthy and functional without becoming exhausted in the process, seniors need only to adjust their activity type and level.
For example, if a senior used to be a long-distance runner but finds that difficult, something like water aerobics, yoga, or swimming may be ideal. While many seniors assume that aging means the end of their active lives, it’s more typical that an adjustment is all that’s needed.
5. Seniors often have a difficult time feeling attractive
Aging means changes in the body and appearance, but seniors don’t have to feel self-conscious as a result.
Many seniors find that visiting the salon or indulging in beauty or self-care rituals that they couldn’t justify when they were younger (such as facials, massages, or pedicures) are all wonderful ways to feel more attractive.
6. The senior may feel “out of whack” with the times
It’s common for seniors to be confused about Justin Bieber and The Kardashians. Luckily, it’s easy for seniors to feel more engaged and involved in either learning more about the pop culture of today or spending time with people who treasure the same eras and memories they do.
Seniors who have no interest in reading pop culture magazines will enjoy taking part in themed parties or getting together to rehash old memories with friends.
7. Driving can become difficult or disallowed
One of the things seniors dread most about aging is the loss of certain freedoms, like driving. While it’s inevitable that some seniors will lose their driving privileges, this doesn’t have to mean the end of an ability to do things for oneself.
In fact, there are many ways for seniors who can’t drive to get around. In many cases, public transit may be a good option. In other situations, a senior may enjoy using a senior-specific shuttle that helps seniors run errands like shopping. In many cases, seniors even choose to enjoy a nice leisurely walk to their destination.
While the right answer will differ depending on a senior’s health and energy levels, getting older doesn’t have to mean a total loss of freedom.
8. Being away from family can be lonely
One thing many seniors struggle with is being far away from family and friends. Luckily, regular phone calls, Skype sessions, and hand-written letters can help close even the largest physical gaps and ensure happy, close relationships between seniors and their families.
9. Seniors are often bored in their day-to-day routines
Let’s be frank: getting older can be boring! Luckily, seniors can combat this boredom by signing up for an art course, auditing a class at the local university, volunteering, or learning new things. While old age presents many challenges,
it also offers a level of free time that allows seniors to take full advantage of opportunities and better themselves in dozens of ways.
10. It can be difficult to find clothing that a senior likes
Many seniors find that, as they age, their previous fashion tastes don’t work well with their lifestyles. Luckily, this is just a matter of adjustment. While seniors may not be able to wear the flared dresses or dapper suits they once favored, it’s easy to find clothing that a senior loves and feels comfortable in. A simple shopping trip might just be in order!
11. Seniors aren’t used to the fast pace of today’s world
Go slower. Seniors have a right to be somewhat alarmed by how quickly everything moves nowadays, and it can benefit them (And us) to slow down and be more intentional during our time with them. When we’re not rushing or hurrying, we have space and freedom to enjoy our interactions with the senior rather than racing through them.
12. Seniors often don’t feel well
Seniors who have conditions that can be treated with diet, exercise or medication will often feel better after receiving the proper care. While it’s unrealistic for many seniors to expect that they’ll feel as spry at 80 as they did at 20, there’s also no reason to assume that aging has to mean feeling poorly at all times.
13. Seniors have a difficult time adjusting to older age
Help the senior understand that every life stage is beautiful, and there are many things to love about aging. While many seniors have a difficult time facing getting older, accepting the realities of it and moving into the next phase gracefully make the entire process easier for seniors to bear.
The Disadvantages of Old Age, Turned Upside Down
While many people fear “the ravages of age,” it’s possible for seniors and caregivers to take a series of simple steps to make aging into a positive, upbeat, exciting process rather than a disappointing and frightening one.