9 Things About the Elderly You Should Know

1. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia. Over 4 million Americans suffer from it, or a related disease. (J. Vassello, personal communication) This is a huge number and much more common than most people think!

2. Elders who are socially isolated are much more likely to have bad habits. For example, they may smoke, have a poor diet, or choose to not be physically active. (Stevenson, 2014)

3. The suicide rate is higher for people aged 65+ compared to all other age groups. (J. Vassello, personal communication) This is a contrast from what is publicized in the media and may be a surprise for many!

4. Nearly 60% of those 65+ consider depression to be normal part of aging, but only 38% of those 65+ consider depression a health issue. (Depression In Older Adults: More Facts)

5. By age 75, about 1 in 3 men and 1 in 2 women don’t get ANY physical activity. (11 Facts About Old Age) Physical activity has been proven to regulate mood and increase lifespan, so this is a big problem for older adults. Stay active!

6. Half of women 75+ live alone. (J. Vassello, personal communication) This is due to various reasons: their spouse could have passed, they never married, don’t have children or aren’t close with them, or they just choose to be independent.

7. LGBT seniors are twice as likely to live alone as straight seniors. (Stevenson, 2014)

8. In the United States, people over 65 are most likely to be living in poverty. According to recent estimates, about 10.5% of those 65+ are living in poverty. (11 Facts About Old Age)

9. Minorities aged 65+ are at least 3x more likely than a 65+ non-minority to be living in poverty. (11 Facts About Old Age)

Older adults were shown examples of conversations between people and asked to judge whether the exchange was sarcastic or not

Sources:

Depression In Older Adults: More Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved April 28, 2016, from http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/depression-older-adults-more-facts

J. Vassello, personal communication, April 26, 2016.

Stevenson, S. (2014, October 17). 20 Facts about Senior Isolation That Will Stun You. Retrieved April 28, 2016, from http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/10-17-14-facts-about-senior-isolation/

11 Facts About Old Age. (n.d.). Retrieved April 28, 2016, from https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-old-age

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