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8 Things You Need to Know About Growing Old

Updated on September 01, 2016
Dreamworker profile image

Dreamworker has spent years studying and dealing successfully with a number of physical and psychological health issues

Growing old is something young people never think about and middle aged people either try to ignore or fight.

The average young person only knows that he is healthy, active and energetic. Old age isn’t even on his radar screen!

However, by the time he reaches his 30’s, he may begin to notice a few wrinkles and a few gray hairs and maybe the beginnings of some health problems.

Once this happens, he begins to look at life differently.

This is a tricky time, because this new view of life can lead to all sorts of decisions, such as getting married or divorced, which can change the course of a person’s life.

The culprit, although most people won’t accept or admit it, is aging.

The realities involved in growing old are not pretty.
The realities involved in growing old are not pretty. | Source

Most People Are Afraid Of Growing Old

Regardless of how beautiful or handsome, rich or poor, popular, hard working, loved, admired or respected the average person was when he or she was younger, most of those attributes disappear as time passes.

What remains to the naked eye is diminished mental and physical capacity, disease, pain and suffering.

Most realize that what they are seeing will one day be their own fate, and this knowledge makes them uncomfortable.

It is a subtle discomfort, but is one that eats away at the psyche and makes people do whatever they can to avoid their own impending fate.

Looking Young Is Not the Same As Being Young

The fear you have of aging makes you want do everything possible to try to maintain your youth because losing it is worse than dying.

However, these efforts are meaningless because short of dying, there is no way for you to stop the aging process.

Looking and acting young is not the same as being young!

All the makeup and plastic surgery in the world will not make you young again.
All the makeup and plastic surgery in the world will not make you young again. | Source

Aging Is a Fact of Life

When people look at the elderly, they rarely wonder what that person might have been like when he or she was young.

All they know is that to be old means to be untouched, unloved, weaker, more needy and somehow less worthy.

This is a frightening thought, and is exactly why many people look away from or ignore the aged.

It’s the same reason why we put poison in our bodies, allow doctors to butcher us and maim ourselves all so that we can look younger, be noticed and make a society think we still matter.

Old Age Is Often Lonely

People tend to think that the relationships they have when they are young will remain the same throughout life, but this rarely happens.

  • The portrait of a loving family taking care of mom and dad in their older years is mostly false. Caretaking is hard, frustrating and tiring work, and most children have little appetite for it.
  • Friends move away, pass away or end relationships due to conflicts.
  • People become too frail or sick to be able to socialize.
  • Sometimes they simply outlive everybody they ever knew!

Only the most fortunate still have good relationships with others as they move on into their later years, and many of those are fleeting.

I know one woman who had a circle of 25 lady friends. Now her group is down to five, and one has already said she plans to move away.

Aging is a fact of life.
Aging is a fact of life. | Source

Aging Is Scary

As people age, they often become increasingly plagued with problems and needs that tear at them. For example, they may

  • no longer be able to drive a car,
  • have difficulty walking, seeing, and/or hearing,
  • live with constant, deep, aching pain,
  • go from day to day without the comfort of simple conversation,
  • wonder how they will pay for their next round of chemo or dialysis,
  • fear yet welcome death and the relief it will bring,
  • hunger for a smile or a hug from someone or
  • be terrified of having to move to a long term care facility.

Yet, we turn away from them.

Many People Don’t Like the Elderly

Most of us probably don't give old people or their feelings and needs a second thought.

Never mind that each one of them once was someone's child, sibling, spouse or parent, a productive member of society or someone's friend, lover or helper.

They use up our patience, irritate and frighten us, and we dislike them for doing so!

What Old People Think

If you could enter the mind of an aged person, here is what you would come to know:

I am old. I did not ask to age, but I, nonetheless, have done so. It is not my fault.

Although I put up a good front when I am with you, I want you to know that every time you shun me, I die a little inside.

  • You come when I beckon you, but you no longer show up on your own.
  • You exclude me from social events and never offer to help me when I need assistance, even though I sometimes hint that I do.
  • You walk right by me when you see that I am struggling; often you simply squeeze by me to show me that I am not walking fast enough to suit you.
  • You try to steal from and manipulate me so that you can gain from my losses.

You think I am too elderly or too sick to notice, but you are wrong. I know what you are doing but am powerless to fight against it. I am a human being, just like you. I have the same feelings and emotions that I had when I was young.

What have I ever done to make you want to treat me this way? How can you not see what you are doing to me or how much it hurts.

How to Make Your Own Old Age Better

One day, you will be the person others will be ignoring. You will go untouched and will be shoved out of life's way.

You will be hurt and frightened and will not remember that you did the same to the older generation when you were young.

If you look deep into the eyes of the elderly, you will see that they are who you will become if you live long enough.

How you treat them now will set the standard for how you will be treated when your time comes.

Remember that whenever you choose to look away or allow yourself to feel repulsed.

If you want people to love and respect you when you grow old, you must first do the same for those who have reached seniority before you.

Otherwise, you will sit where they now sit, and suffer as they now suffer.

Do you think that when you grow old people will treat you differently?

See results

© 2016 Dreamworker


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    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 6 months ago from Phoenix, Az.

      Very significant hub.... Thanks for writing this ONE

    • Dreamworker profile image

      Dreamworker 6 months ago

      Laurinzo Scott: Thanks. I really think people don't understand what it is like for many who are aging. All this talk about "Oh, you're only as old as you think you are" is nothing but hype. In the real world, and for the great majority of people, aging is difficult, painful and often isolating. It's time people realized this and started showing some respect to our seniors.

    • threekeys profile image

      ThreeKeys 6 months ago from Australia

      I loved your honest openness and sincerity. It was a beautiful hub and you should share this with many.

      I understand....I understand.....

      I am not an elder, yet, and I have never understood why people can treat our elders in a poorly way. It doesn't make sense. They too will become elders. It is everyone's fate. Our fragile-to-be need our thoughtfulness and our protectiveness.

      Please share this hub with many Dreamworker and Dreammaker

    • Dreamworker profile image

      Dreamworker 6 months ago

      threekeys: So glad you liked this one. I have shared it on FB and a few other social networking sites, but that's about as far as I can go. It is up to my readers to decide whether they want to get the word out about this hub or not. There is so much hype about aging that people actually come to believe that they can grow old and life will still be good. For some it is, but for most, not so much. As I said in this article..."looking young is not the same as being young". Why people don't get this, I don't know! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 6 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      We all age! Since I have joined the "over fifty" crowd, I am finding that others that I don't know refer to me as "that old woman" or other terms that lead me to believe that they see me differently than they used to. There are advantages to aging, however, we are much more wise than we were as young people. We understand a lot more about life, how things work, and the importance of family. Aging isn't all bad!

    • Dreamworker profile image

      Dreamworker 6 months ago

      denise.w.anderson: What you say is true, but only for some who age. The truth is that if you were dumb and obnoxious when you were young, you'll still be that way when you are old...and maybe even worse!

    • profile image

      Sally 5 months ago

      It is my experience that most go out of their way to try to be kind in many ways. It is demeaning to be excluded from conversations as if your thoughts and opinions are not worthy of consideration or would possibly be of interest. Becoming .slower, you are prone to feel that you are in the way and probaby are. It tends to make you try to isolate yourself but there is nowhere to hide. It is especially perplexing when your Dr. makes you feel like you are a lost cause.

    • Dreamworker profile image

      Dreamworker 5 months ago

      Sally: Each person's experience is different, but unfortunately, in today's busy world, people don't really want to take the time to "be kind" or "courteous" to older people. What a waste!

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