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Great Myths of Aging. Edition No. 1. Great Myths of Psychology

  • ID: 2866021
  • Book
  • October 2014
  • 184 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Great Myths of Aging looks at the generalizations and stereotypes associated with older people and, with a blend of humor and cutting-edge research, dispels those common myths.

  • Reader-friendly structure breaks myths down into categories such as Body, Mind, and Living Contexts; and looks at myths from “Older people lose interest in sex” to “Older people are stingy”
  • Explains the origins of myths and misconceptions about aging
  • Looks at the unfortunate consequences of anti-aging stereotypes for both the reader and older adults in society
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Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 The Body 6

“Speak up! I can’t hear you!” 6

#1 It is best to speak to an older person as you would to a small child – loudly, slowly, and with exaggerated emphasis 7

#2 Hearing aids are beneficial for older adults in just about any situation, but many are just too stubborn to use them 9

You can’t be too careful (or … falling down and crashing cars) 12

#3 Older people worry too much about falling 13

#4 Older people get into more car accidents than younger people 15

Now that you don’t have sex anymore… 20

#5 Older people lose interest in sex 20

#6 Older women do not care about their looks 25

#7 Older people need to wear diapers, and how sexy is that? 29

#8 It’s always best for older adults to be married rather than single 32

2 The Mind 37

“I’m just having a senior moment” 37

#9 Brain power declines with age 38

#10 Older adults can’t or won’t learn new things – like technology. They would rather get a stupid phone than a smart one 42

“Did I tell you this already?” 46

#11 As people grow older, they get forgetful, and this is always a sign of dementia 46

#12 Alzheimer’s disease, dementia – they’re one and the same 50

#13 There’s no help for Alzheimer’s, so don’t waste time or money on diagnosis of memory problems 52

Older but wiser 55

#14 Wisdom comes with age, so older adults are wise 56

#15 Older adults are suckers and are easy prey for scam artists 59

#16 Older people are extra cautious when they have to make decisions 63

3 The Self 66

Older people are a disagreeable bunch 66

#17 Older people are hypochondriacs 67

#18 Older people are stingy 71

#19 Older people are grouchy 75

“Give me my lunch. Now go away.” 78

#20 Older adults prefer to be taken care of – they don’t want a lot of responsibilities 78

#21 Older people are introverted and prefer to spend time alone 81

Why try to improve your life if the future is so brief? 85

#22 Older adults have given up any hopes and dreams 85

#23 Older people are set in their ways 87

#24 Growing old is depressing; no wonder older people are more depressed than younger people 90

#25 Older adults do not benefit significantly from therapy 92

4 Living Contexts 98

Growing old can only mean there is more opportunity to enjoy the bliss of
family relationships 98

#26 Older adults would choose living with kids and grandkids rather than living alone 99

#27 Older adults want to spend all their time with grandkids and they never have favorites 102

#28 Sibling relationships are stable throughout life 105

Retirement is for sissies 108

#29 Older workers are inferior to younger workers 109

#30 Older adults hardly ever have trouble getting work 111

#31 Retirement is depressing, so older adults only retire when they are forced to do so 113

#32 Retired older adults are privileged financially 117

#33 After they retire, older folks want to move to where it’s warm 122

5 Endings and Loss 124

All the good ones are either gay, married, or dead 124

#34 If older widows date, it’s to find a new husband 125

And then you die… 127

#35 A majority of older adults end up in nursing homes and stay there till they die 128

#36 Suicide is more common among adolescents and young adults than it is among older adults 131

#37 Older people have the greatest fear of death of any age group – they are the closest to it, so they should know 135

References 140

Index 161

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Joan T. Erber Florida International University, USA.

Lenore T. Szuchman
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