Each of us will have certain expectations about life as an older person. Our attitudes towards and knowledge of ageing can influence our desire and ability to plan ahead.
Take a quick quiz to find out – answer True or False?
- The number of older people in the community is increasing.
- Today families are less caring for older people than they were in the past.
- Most older people get depressed.
- All older people eventually become mentally confused.
- Most older people are able to look after themselves.
- As you age you get less intelligent.
- There are more older women than older men.
- On average, older people take more medicines than younger people.
- Older people do not benefit from regular exercise as much as younger people
- All older people are alike.
- As you get older you lose the desire to express and enjoy sexual love.
- Osteoarthritis is inevitable as joints wear out.
- Our arteries inevitably harden as age progresses.
- Creativity and original thought peak in the late forties and decline thereafter.
How did you do?
Here are the answers…
- TRUE. By the year 2021, 21% of the New Zealand population will be aged over 60.
- FALSE. There are a lot of pressures on the family today but family members are still the main caregivers when older people need support.
- FALSE. However, depression is more common than most people think. Those who are unwell, isolated or in supervised care are at greater risk.
- FALSE. Even among those over 80 years old, only one in five will suffer any form of serious forgetfulness or confusion.
- TRUE. Around 94% of older New Zealanders live in their own accommodation and look after themselves.
- FALSE. Intelligence does not normally decline with age.
- TRUE. Women tend to outlive men in our society.
- TRUE. On average, older people take about twice as many medicines as younger people.
- FALSE. Older people probably benefit more from regular physical activity than any other age group.
- FALSE. Every individual is different. Older people are as diverse as any other group in the community.
- FALSE. Older people can and do enjoy loving relationships beyond their 80’s.
- FALSE. Joints that receive regular, sensible use maintain their efficiency.
- FALSE. This phenomenon is related more to lifestyle and diet throughout life than to age itself. It is like going grey. Some arteries harden more than others.
- FALSE. Creative people often are at their most original in their 70’s and 80’s. Countless vigorous intellects have declined in the mistaken belief that old age brings unavoidable mental loss.
(Source: Age Concern – : Age Well, Positive Ageing).