10 Stereotypes About Aging (That Just Aren't True)


Older People Aren't Interested in the Outside World

Far from the stereotypical image of being technophobic, sedentary TV watchers, today's older adults are taking advantage of opportunities to stay mentally and physically engaged. For example, in 2010 alone, almost 100,000 people explored international cultures through Elderhostel, an organization that offers enriching travel and educational programs for older adults throughout the world [source: Elderhostel]. And many seniors take part in continuing education programs: The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, a network of educational programs designed for learners ages 50 and up, has locations in close to 120 campuses throughout the United States [source: Bernard Osher Foundation]. Plus, a growing number of retirement communities are being built near colleges and universities, using access to on-campus classes and enrichment events as a selling point. Some of the facilities give preference to alumni and former professors, who give lectures on the community grounds.

For some older adults, keeping current with new developments is a job requirement. By choice or necessity, more people today continue to work beyond typical retirement ages. By some accounts, over half of those aged 65 to 69 are still in the workforce in the United States [source: BusinessNewsDaily]. This trend is seen in other countries as well, from Great Britain to China.

One of the benefits of these kinds of engagement is socialization, which brings us to our next point.