Why do some older people view becoming older as the beginning of the rest of their lives while
others view becoming older as going downhill to the end and the start of utter nothingness?
I think a few factors come into play such as one's health, finances, marital/relationship happiness. If these three things are in order the older years really are the "golden years".
On the other hand if you're struggling on social security, have Medicaid for insurance, coping with one health issue after another, watching friends and family members die every few months, facing the possibility of moving into a nursing home, or dealing with adult children's problems or worse raising their children,
It really comes down to how we used our youthful years that determine if we have a graceful time or miserable time during our older years.
I'm sorry to say I sort of fall into that latter category. I am not sure why but it may have to do with the fact my parents died at age 50 and 53, so I am the only one in the family who has lived this long (61). I seem to feel like I am waiting for the end, or what will cause the end. Strange but an honest response.
Planning. Just like all the fables those that plan are ready to enjoy life while those like me that lose all of their retirement through unwise choices are looking at working til they are 90. Health is another factor, but currently I ride a bicycle as my main mode of transportation so health is not a problem.
Probably if I wasn't financially destitute I would be amoung those enjoying life.
Interesting question. Although there are many factors associated with one's response to aging and particularly old age including socioeconomic status, chronic illness, physical and mental declines. I have found that attitude is the largest contributor to how each person views getting old. Positive attitudes towards aging produce resilience and the ability to adjust to change, while negative attitudes produce defeatism and resistance to change.
Change is inevitable throughout our lifespan, research shows that positive outlooks produce resilience, enhance coping abilities and contribute to feelings of well being.
I agree that health, finance and attitude all play an important part in how we view aging. I also think that our role models also affect our approach. My parents are in their 90's and they've remained active and involved though many of their friends have passed on. Because I've watched them age well, I have a very positive attitude about how good life can be as I move into those bigger numbers.
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