Social and Emotional Effects of Aging
Major changes in life can be scary and may lead to feelings of insecurity. Aging is an inevitable process. It will likely cause wrinkles and gray hair, knees and back pain, hospital visits and maintenance medicines. Physical health changes with age. Changes in hormones, sleep patterns, hearing and eyesight are oftentimes the first few undeniable signs of aging. With age, heart, joint, and muscle health also decline. Age brings undesirable changes in our overall physical health. This leads to confronting many social and emotional challenges as one enters into another phase of life. Here are some social and emotional effects of aging.
Dependence on others
As people age, their level of dependence on others increases. They’re more reliant on others in terms of assistance, especially in physical activities. Daily life activities that once were completed with ease become somewhat hard to do on their own. Older people may wrestle with guilt and shame due to their increased dependency.
A lot of aging adults battle with feelings of loneliness and despair. They tend to isolate themselves from unfamiliar people because their loved ones (parents, partners, siblings and close friends) have already passed away or because their children already moved away to live their own lives. Their isolation may be a way of mourning the loss of their familiar and their past lifestyle. This can negatively affect their well-being. Some aging people may even experience depression.
Aging adults tend to become overly critical, suspicious, and even paranoid. They don’t easily trust people, and they may feel that they are being taken advantage of. Their stubbornness also increases. When they feel out of control, they may try to regain control by having or doing things their way. They also love to reminiscence on things in the past and how they have changed.
Aging is a gradual process, and you can prepare for it. Your lifestyle has a powerful impact on how well you age. To cope with social and emotional effects of aging, it’s good to socialize or engage with people regularly, eat a healthy diet, and stay mentally and physically active. Most importantly, understanding dependency, loneliness, and behavioral changes will greatly impact our attitude towards a graceful aging.