There is an exceptional film, Strangers in Good Company (, that deals with seven older women who find themselves stranded in the Canadian outback and need to fall back on survival skills to hang on until someone finds them. What is remarkable about this film is that we just don’t expect old ladies to be much at roughing it and dealing with the rigors of survival. That’s for big guys like Grizzly Adams and Paul Bunyan, right?

Well, you know it appears there are a lot of myths about old people. An article in my local Wimberley View by Barbara Rosen (November 5, 2011) explores a number of myths about aging that are worth pondering. Do you think these are true?

  • I’ll end up frail and disabled.
  • I’ll need a hearing aid.
  • I’m sure to get crotchety and withdrawn.
  • Senility is inevitable.
  • I won’t be able to exercise in my 80’s. I’ll have no energy.

And what’s the low down on these fears about my later years?

  • Getting frail and disabled results from disease not getting older. The majority of people who live to be 100 are able to live independently into their 90’s and 15%  have no age related diseases.
  • Only 35% of 80 year olds need a hearing aid.
  • Personality does not change with age. Grumpy people were grumpy in their youth. Grumpy behavior can usually be traced to a disease like dementia or stroke.
  • Cognitive abilities do decline, but aging in and of its self does not severely impair ability to live independently until well into old age. Again disease, like Alzheimer’s, plays the more significant role in cognitive loss.
  • Research has shown that taking up exercise in one’s 70’s can improve heart function. Ninety is the new 70.

I suggest for a refreshing look at what older people can do, check out Strangers in Good Companyand be pleasantly surprised.

Old People are Frail and Weak

Old People are Frail and Weak