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Medicine

Submission + - Researchers Find Aging is Not as Bad as You Expect

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Pew Research Center reports that when it comes to the negative stereotypes associated with aging, such as illness, memory loss, an inability to drive, an end to sexual activity, a struggle with loneliness and depression, and difficulty paying bills, the share of younger and middle-aged adults who report expecting to encounter them is much higher than the share of older adults who report actually experiencing them. For example while 57% of respondents aged 18 to 64 expect memory loss to be a problem when they get old, only 25% of respondents aged 65 and over recall having any problems with memory loss — a 32 point gap. Part of the problem may be defining exactly what "old" is. Survey respondents ages 18 to 29 believe that the average person becomes old at age 60, middle-aged respondents put the threshold closer to 70, and respondents ages 65 and above say that the average person does not become old until turning 74. "Old age is always a bit older than you are," said Jeffrey Love, research director at AARP. Survey findings would seem to confirm the old saying that you're never too old to feel young with a third of respondents ages 65 to 74, saying they feel 10 to 19 years younger than their age, while one-in-six say they feel at least 20 years younger than their actual age. However if there's one realm of modern life where old and young behave very differently, it's in the adoption of those newfangled gadgets like the internet and texting. Just four-in-ten adults ages 65 to 74 use the internet on a daily basis, and while there are exceptions that share drops to just one-in-six among adults 75 and above."

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