Aging is often a time of many new challenges. People are faced with changes in their life and, often, a decline in physical health. Many also expect that aging will be linked to a decline in mental health, as there are many stereotypes associated with aging and becoming less competent. A decline in mental health, however, is usually linked to health problems like dementia that can lead to a severe decline in a person’s thinking, memory, and language, among other problems. However, a normal aging process is usually not linked to a loss of cognitive abilities. What does happen with age?
There are some changes in cognition when the person grows older. People can learn at a slower rate and need more repetition when learning something new. They can also have more problems recalling recently learned information. However, the decline in cognitive abilities is usually not significant enough to impair people in their work, hobbies, and relationships. Older adults stay creative and wise despite the problems associated with age. Cognitive decline can barely affect many people, especially if they stay active.
Staying active in different aspects of one’s life is one of the keys to a more satisfying old age. What does it mean to stay active?
Exercise that is related to the person’s capabilities and needs is important in all parts of life. Some older adults may prefer to practice a sport or jog, while others will be happy walking around. What’s important is to try and move if possible.
Older adults should strive to keep their minds active. This means always learning new things, engaging in new challenges, seeking activities like games and puzzles that get the mind working, and, generally, focusing on developing one’s mind.
Older adults can benefit a lot from staying socially active. Staying connected with friends and family, as well as making new connections can help older adults stay more active and keep the mind and body active as well. Social connections are also an important aspect of our well-being, so staying in touch is a great way to enjoy this stage of life more.
APA. (2017). Older Adults’ Health and Age-Related Changes. American Psychological Association. Retrieved 17 March 2017, from http://www.apa.org/pi/aging/resources/guides/older.aspx
CDC. (1999). Older Adults| Surgeon General Report | CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 17 March 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/sgr/olderad.htm