What we aren’t told about aging

Oh, those golden years! They actually do have some perks if we are good at using what we’ve learned. Crystalized intelligence just keeps getting better, even when you’re 65 or 70. Thank God, right?

As we age through our 60’s, we tend to be happier and less inclined to get angry. No one has figured out why exactly, but there are some theories. When we are older we might be able to control our emotions better and focus more on how to make the most out of life. Now where did that grumpy old man or woman go?

We tend to be more in tune with other’s emotions in our 40’s than at any other time. This makes living with our loved ones easier and helps us to get along better with coworkers.

Even though we older women may have less sex than when we were younger, we make it count! A study of women 40 and over found that sexual satisfaction improved with age. Those women over 80 were more likely than those between 55 and 79 to say they were satisfied during sex. Wow!

As we age our medications, illnesses and allergies can change our sense of smell and taste that will affect our diet and health. Try some oil, herbs like rosemary and thyme, garlic, onion, peppers or mustard to spice up that diet. Stay away from a lot of salt!

When the hair begins to disappear, all of a sudden it shows up in the weirdest places. Men get large hairs in their noses and ears and the women might notice small hairs on their chins. What in the world are they doing there? Those darned hormones!

As we age our sleeping patterns can shift so we get sleepier earlier and wake up earlier. Even though some over 65 tend to wake up during the night, most people say they regularly get a good night’s sleep. Finally, those migraines might go away once you reach the 70’s. It is a fact that only 10% of women and 5% of men over 70 still report having migraines. Those migraines are more likely to show up as visual or sensory disturbances instead.

Keep that day job. Retiring early might not be the best thing for your health. The Longevity Project study found that people who work hard at a job they enjoy, live the longest. Good friends, a good marriage and an enjoyable job might be the key to sticking around for a while. Even a great hobby will work.

Through a study it was found that 1/3 of adults over 65 have a fear of falling. Falling is the leading cause of injuries for older people. Don’t be too afraid of falling as that might make you more likely to take that tumble.

We gain self-esteem with our age that increases with wealth, education, good health and employment. After the age of 60 if may take a dip because people begin to have health issues and start searching for a new sense of purpose after retiring. Those that can keep healthier lifestyles and working to an older age might change and increase our life spans.

Older adults will usually have less stress, according to the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America report. We will still have health and money problems at times but the APA says that 9 of 10 older adults say they’re doing enough to manage it.

Gravity brings us down the longer we are alive. Spaces that are between the bones in your spine get closer together. That will result in making us about an inch shorter as we get older. There is strength in numbers though. Those over 60 tend to cast ballots more than any other age groups and are the fastest-growing block of voters in the U.S. today. More voting power on topics that matter as you age means having an input on improving Medicare, Social Security and health care.

–Dr Fredda Branyon

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