Aging, even though it is a natural, eventual part of life, can be scary. Getting older presents a whole new deluge of fears and problems. These are problems that certainly impact the aging person, but also many times affects their families and friends.
One of the most significant problems with getting older is that your body begins to break down, demanding an increase in visits to doctors and specialists, and possibly even the emergency room. A significantly common condition associated with old age is Alzheimer’s and dementia. These conditions may necessitate an older person to be monitored 24 hours a day or to be put in a nursing home or senior living facility. There is nothing that can be done about getting older, except making sure you are doing your best to take care of yourself, and potentially finding someone trusting to help you. As people get older, the bodies sometimes do not function the way it once did, created by the psychological and biological effects of aging.
Running out of Money
Getting older sometimes means more expenses, like health care, medicines, and lodging. Having saved most of your life, you may find that your money is not stretching the way you anticipated. With rising costs of food, utilities, and healthcare, older Americans are worried about if they will have enough money to make ends meet. Additionally, people are living longer, so what they might have thought was a sufficient amount of savings turns out to be not enough.
Changes in Appearance / Loss of Confidence
As we age, our bodies change in many different ways. When their hair starts getting thin its impossible not to let that affect their confidence. It is a physical manifestation of becoming elderly. While thinning hair can affect many people, it is most common in the elderly. Older people need to come to terms with the fact that they might not look the same way they did when they were younger. And sometimes, these changes seem to happen quickly, allowing for little time to mentally adjust. It might seem that one day, they have a headful of luscious hair and the next they are trying to comb together enough to cover their scalp.
Most people have lived their entire adult life independently; meaning they set their own rules, live away from their parents, and make their own decisions. Getting older sometimes means that certain decision making needs to be made by other people, like family members and children. Having to relinquish this control is very hard on most older people. Sometimes they do not understand that it is best for others to make some decisions for them. This is a major reason that some older people do not want to live in senior living facilities. They think all of their decisions will be made by someone else. This is not true, but family members want to make sure their loved ones are safe.
Identity theft and financial exploitation run rampant among older people. There are pariahs in the world that target older people to take advantage of them. They try to lure them in with lottery winning promises and too-good-to-be-true scenarios. And, many older Americans are sucked in, especially if they are impoverished. "Winning the Lottery" might be just what the person needs to help with medical bills or household finances. But, these scams usually require the older person to send them money first—money they will never see again.
Keeping up with Technology
The world has made leaps and bounds in technology over the past few decades. And, as with most things new, the younger generations have embraced and thrived in new technology. However, many older Americans get left in the dust, some trying to adapt and others refusing to change. Thankfully, some technology companies have kept easier to use devices available for the elderly. So, they can still use technology, but only have to worry about learning things they are really going to use in their daily life. Take cell phones, for instance. There are highly sophisticated smartphones on the market, but there are also smartphones that have easy to use platforms. This allows the elderly to easily learn how to use them.
One stark reality of getting older is that people that were once friends begin to age also. This results in illnesses that make it hard for them to socialize any longer and even death, especially of their spouse. These events leave voids in the lives of the friends and spouses left behind. Additionally, some activities become difficult for the elderly to participate in. So, the elderly need to find other people and other activities to engage in to remain socially active.
Some elders are subjected to elder abuse by their own family members. This abuse can be mental, physical, financial, neglect of care, or even sexual. A lot of elder abuse stems from the stress family members might be under to care for the elder. This stress can manifest in a number of ways, most significantly in physical abuse or just not taking care of them. Therefore, it is essential to have more than one person involved in the care and oversight of the elderly. It will reduce the possibility of abuse. But elders need to understand that they still have a voice and not to be ashamed if they feel taken advantage of—they need to tell someone they trust if it is happening.
Living arrangements can be an issue for various reasons, including finances, health, and physical need. Many elders end up either in senior living facilities or living with family. This situation can cause elders to feel a loss of control, but they need to understand that, for the most part, these living arrangements are created out of love and a desire to make their lives better.
There are so many issues facing the elderly and so many things for them to worry about. However, with a loving support system, the twilight years can be fulfilling and enjoyable. So, while they have to worry about things like living arrangements, not having enough money, failing health, socialization, losing independence, changes in their body, scams, elder abuse, or technology, surrounding themselves with people who love them is the most important thing of all.
Check out the other articles you can find on our blog!