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August 21, 2014

Busting Myths About Older Adults on National Senior Citizens Day

Today, August 21, is National Senior Citizens Day. Initiated in a Presidential Proclamation in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, National Senior Citizens Day salutes older adults and their contributions to society.

This day brings about a good opportunity to bust a few myths and stereotypes associated with being a “senior citizen.” For starters, the term alone brings to mind an image of someone feeble and incapable—two things we know that many older adults and retirees are definitely not.

In honor of National Senior Citizens Day, we thought we’d bust some of these myths and stereotypes wide open.

Myth 1: Older Adults are Lonely

Many people assume all older adults who live alone are lonely. Aside from the fact that several older adults are perfectly happy to lead a more solitary lifestyle, an even larger segment of the population are busy leading active social lives.

Myth 2: Older Adults are Frail

Thanks to the active lifestyles, many older adults are maintaining, their bodies are staying stronger and more capable well into their older years. Just like feeble and incapable, frail is another term that doesn’t apply to a large majority of older adults.

Myth 3: Older Adults Can’t be Independent

This myth neglects a large portion of the older adult population who are still living on their own and doing just fine. Getting older doesn’t have to mean losing your independence.

Myth 4: Older Adults Aren’t Capable of Working

Many older adults are putting off retirement in favor of working longer—and are bringing some valuable qualities to the table.

Myth 5: Older Adults Don’t Have Much to Do

The baby boomer generation is more active than ever. Between continuing to work, seeking out volunteer opportunities, and maintaining active social lives, older adults finding plenty of ways to fill their retirement.

Let’s spend this National Senior Citizens Day busting all the myths and stereotypes out there and, instead, set new standards for what it means to get older.

What stereotypes about older adults do you wish would disappear? How would you like to rewrite the narrative? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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