Acacia Creek is an accredited Masterpiece Living Community. Our affiliation with Masterpiece Living is based on our shared vision to maximize the potential of older adults and debunk deeply-rooted myths around aging throughout the United States.
A large volume of recent research has suggested that your expectations of aging may actually define your experience, rather than vice versa. For example, if you assume that your old age will be filled with decline and loss, then you may be more likely to find that it’s true. This is good news though for positive thinkers: If you believe that aging is a time that will be filled with personal growth, that is likely to be your reality?
Why is this? It may be that having a positive perspective makes you more likely to engage in pursuits that mirror your planned direction. If you believe you will have friends in old age, you may be more likely to nurture friendships throughout your lifetime, and look forward to aging with your friends. If you believe that friendships can’t endure aging, you’ll probably be less likely to keep yours up, since it might seem pointless.
These data outcomes from the Masterpiece Living national database provide the facts to debunk common misperceptions around aging. Read them and be inspired! *
Myth 1: Aging is about loss and decline.
The reality is that people can build healthy habits as they age. Over a three-year period, Masterpiece Living Community residents experienced fewer falls, ate more fruits and vegetables, and volunteered more often.
Myth 2: Older adults do not contribute to society.
Older adults provide vital volunteer services to communities nationwide. In 2016, 48 percent of Masterpiece Living Community residents volunteered on a weekly basis, donating approximately 216,000 hours of time – a $5.2 million value.
Myth 3: Memory loss is inevitable.
Not all older adults experience memory loss – and brain-healthy activities can help with cognitive retention. Over a three-year period, 92 percent of Masterpiece Living Community residents reported having the same or better memory and 88 percent reported that memory loss has not limited their social activities.
Myth 4: Older adults like being left alone.
This myth may be one of the most harmful of all. Socialization is important for all people, regardless of age. It has an important bearing on how satisfied people are with their lives.
Of older adults who do feel lonely, 81 percent have high levels of meaning and purpose and 86 percent are satisfied with their lives. Among those who do feel lonely, those rates decline to 38 percent and 30 percent, respectively. This can have a great bearing on mental health: While 92 percent of non-lonely people report that they are not depressed, 30 percent of lonely people report high feelings of depression.
* Data compiled from a 2016 survey of 2,300 residents in Masterpiece Living Communities nationwide.
Remember: Life is what we make of it! By challenging ourselves to learn new things, build new friendships, and adopt healthy habits, we are on the way to longevity and fulfilling lives.
– By Penny Vittoria, Successful Aging Coach