Common myths about ageing

The world’s population and Australia’s is ageing. However, growing older does not mean that you will automatically lose your memory or other thinking skills. There are a number of myths associated with what happens to our brain and bodies as we age.

You are sad, cranky, and crotchety

One of the things we know about later life is that as people get older, the balance of positive and negative emotion skews more towards the positive. The group that scores the highest on measures of sadness and depressed mood is people in their 20s, and then that tends to go down across adult life, at least up into the 60s and 70s, and then there’s a slight upturn, but never quite back to the 20-year-old level.

Depression is more common among the elderly

Research has found that depression in the 55+ age group is a lot lower than their younger counterparts. Further Depression is treatable. It is all about admitting that there might be an issue and talking to a doctor and gets the right treatment. Ignoring the signs of depression can have large impacts not only on the enjoyment of life, but can also increase the possibility of developing memory and learning problems and increase the risk of death from diseases such as Parkinson and strokes.

Dementia is an inevitable part of ageing

Dementia prevalence increases with age. That is, your chance of having a diagnosis of dementia is greater the older you are. But if you are lucky enough to reach old age, you won’t necessarily have dementia. Dementia is a clinical diagnosis that is characterised by impairments in cognition (the way we think) and functional abilities (that enable us to live independently).

Other helpful resources:

10 Myths About Aging
Ageing: myths vs. reality

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