Posted on May 12, 2020, 12 p.m.
Is age really just a number? To many it is, and more so scientifically chronological age doesn’t always match biological age; chronological age is the number of years a person has been alive, while biological age refers to how old a person feels and this is also referred to a physiological age which takes into account many lifestyle factors.
According to a recent survey of 2,000 American participants once you reach a certain age, it doesn’t matter how you feel on the inside, you really are old. While it may seem a bit early to some, an individual has reached elderhood once they turn 65 years of age although in some places it is 55 years old, with the official age of retirement being 66 years and 2 months old. Middle aged is 36-55, and older adults are 55+ years of age, those 65-74 are referred to as being early elderly and those who are 75+ are referred to as being late elderly. According to the participants in this survey 57 years old was considered to be the age reached when you become old.
The participants were asked a variety of age related topics including their top concerns about getting older. Declining health was the number one rated aging related concern at 39%, followed by wrinkles at 36%, weight gain also came in at 36%, gray hair at 35%, and hair loss at 34%.
Participants were also worried about losing the ability to take care of themselves which concerned 34%, age spots also worried 34%, simply being viewed as old 33%, financial problems worry 33%, and the loss of independence worried 19%.
Even though 19% said that they were worried about how their finances would be during their older years 45% admitted that they were not actively saving for retirement. The 55% that say they are actively saving for their retirement stated that they are saving about 19% of their monthly income into a nest egg for the future. 34% of those who are not saving for their older years said that they just can’t bring themselves to imagine being old or even looking that far into the future.
Two thirds of all participants indicate that they are taking some steps to prepare for their future: 64% believe that they are informed on when they should begin getting checked for various health problems. For example the average participant said that breast cancer screening should begin at the age of 36, but the American Cancer Society recommends the age of 40; and the average participant said that colon cancer screening should begin at the age of 40, but the ACS recommends the age of 45.
Many participants expressed a reluctance regarding colon cancer screening, when asked why the top rated reason why was worry over the results at 32%, lack of insurance 31%, not believing they are at risk 29%, embarrassment/uncomfortable 29%, and not having any relevant symptoms also came in at 29%.
85% of the participants who should be getting screened for colon cancer said they are either overdue for a checkup or haven’t even been tested at all. According to screening guidelines everyone should be tested for colon cancer starting at the age of 45 every two years, and if a person has a family history of colon problems or notices symptoms they should be tested even sooner.
Level of knowledge on screening for health issues varied, in addition 52% expressed confusion about tests and checkups that they should maintain or begin in old age, and another 52% said they were too busy to worry about medical testing right now, with 37% admitting that they most likely are not getting tested/check ups as often as they should be.
While to most age really is just a number, this survey shows that whatever that age may be, most alarmingly people are not prepared for it, mentally, physically, medically and financially. Ignoring issues will not make them go away, it may even make them worse, plan for your future. It is better to be prepared before it is too late.
Getting old doesn’t have to be awful, by simply taking steps to improve your health now via making better lifestyle choices which includes managing stress, getting enough sleep, being physically active, maintaining social bonds, having a positive mindset, and following a balanced healthy diet can go a long way to helping you live a happy and healthy lifespan for as long as possible; this is what anti-aging is all about.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.