Aging and the self-fulfilling prophecy
you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”
turns out this truism applies to the ways we perceive the aging process itself.
Research shows that older adults who view aging as a time of continued learning
and development are physically more resilient. They seem to weather a setback
and regain their mobility and independence more readily. They stay healthier
and live longer than their peers who view aging primarily as a time of decline.
As a society we tend to
hold aging in a negative light. But studies have found that advanced years do
indeed bring many benefits. When compared to younger generations, for instance,
older adults generally are more able to
on the positives
out the negatives
and accept who they are
The wisdom of aging may
be that older adults recognize life is too short to “sweat the small stuff.” And
with accumulated years, they have developed more coping skills for life’s
inevitable rough spots.
Get this self-fulfilling
prophecy working in your loved one’s favor! Try asking some of these questions
to help him or her identify the special strengths of aging:
- If you were suddenly 20
again, what skills or wisdom would you miss?
- What has helped you
through hard times in the past? Look for ways to emphasize these skills
- What people, activities,
or situations tend to leave you feeling positive? Consider ways to
emphasize these resources. For many older adults, family and social
interactions bring the greatest joy.
- What is the ‘gift’ in
your situation right now? With aging, we frequently come to realize that in every
situation the good coexists with the bad. Even people with incurable diseases
can usually identify something positive they have learned as a result of their
Is the glass looking half empty?
Let our strengths-based approach give everyone a fresh perspective. As the Metro DC experts in family caregiving, we at Debra Levy Eldercare Associates can help with a realistic picture of the glass-half-full side of the equation. Give us a call at 301-593-5285.