Friday, October 06, 2006

You're Only as Old as You Think You Are!

Gina Kolata's great article in yesterday's NY Times was picked up in numerous other publications, for good reason. Yes, it is all in our heads--and hearts. New research results from the National Institute on Aging have just been released from studies trying to figure out why some people become frail as they age and others don't. The main reasons center around two surprises: (l) hidden heart disease; and (2) mental images connected to chronological age. In the case of the second reason, people who rebel against culturally acceptable norms of how they should act at 50, 60, 70, 80 and on are much more likely to lead active, energetic lives than those who believe that a certain age must result in physical and/or mental decline. Once again, fascinating news with reverberating implications. So, 60 really can be the new 40! We just have to see ourselves as not fitting into our cultural and media-driven stereotypes. Keep rebelling, Boomers!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The only problem I see are the elderly who spend so much time thinking they are old, they become infirm. I have an 80 year old mother in law who has had leg surgery, heart surgery etc. She keeps moving. If she needs a wheelchair to go somewhere she gets on. She is tough and does things to stay alive and happy, with friends, etc.
Then there is my parents, 73 and 81. They only medical problem is my dad’s leg that is it. But they don't go anywhere and dad refuses to use any mobility aid. They constantly talk about how tired and old they are. They don't go to movies, shopping, nothing except out to eat every now and then. Dad makes mom do everything because he makes himself helpless.
You know what? You are only as old as you think you are and if I have to use a electric chair to move around and enjoy life at 80 I will because I am tired of seeing my parents self rot in a house because they believe they are old.