An article was recently shared with me that posed the question, “Why Are Older People Considered Boring?”
As the owner of an agency comprised of caregivers who provide in-home care for seniors, I pondered that question before reading the article. I’ve never considered seniors to be boring. In fact, they are usually our family’s very own historians, with stories and life lessons that span many decades, historical events and Presidents.
In that respect, I definitely don’t find seniors to be boring. However, there have been studies and observations of senior men and senior women, over the age of 65, that do seem to validate the point.
Older people are considered boring primarily due to the routines they have adapted and repeated each and every day for years. We all have our routines, but daily habits are even more prevalent with aging adults. Years of doing the same thing, day in and day out, more than likely has resulted in a dull Dick and Jane!
The problem is our culture, according to the Sixty and Me article. “Here’s where culture comes in. Culture trains you to be more sedentary as you age and pushes you to fear the aging process altogether. Take, for example, the sheer amount of TV seniors watch per week – a staggering 47 hours and 13 minutes for people aged 65+. Not to mention all the anti-aging messages broadcasted on TV.”
Now, I like TV as much as anyone, but when you consider waking hours and the remaining amount of time seniors are spending in front of their boob tubes, it is nearly two full days! It stands to reason, though, because our TV’s are typically front-and-center in our comfort zones!
Seniors are much less likely to step out of their comfort zones, too. In fact, they are much less likely to do anything that might burn too much of their “fight or flight” energy reserves. Aging minds and bodies are wired to conserve energy as they grow older and procrastinate anything that might zap their energy by leading them out of their comfort zones.
That said, without new experiences outside of comfort zones, seniors do not expand their minds by gaining new insights or perspective. Have you ever heard a senior family member repeat the same stories over and over again? Those stories are likely the only familiar subjects they feel comfortable sharing.
Professor John Eastwood and team conducted a study out of York University in Canada. It concluded, “For seniors, culture pushes you into the (category of people who do not want to step out of their comfort zone). But, there’s good news – you don’t have to stay in that category.”
The key is to step out of the comfort zone! Break free of procrastination and go in search of new experiences. Take a class to learn something new. Don’t be anti-social. Get out of the house, meet and interact with other people. Keep an open mind.
There are at least 6 benefits for seniors who socialize to fight boredom:
- It is good for building neuroplasticity and maintaining good cognitive health
- It breaks the monotony of daily routines
- It opens possibilities for meeting new people
- It benefits mental and emotional health
- It provides a purpose and a challenge toward individual self-fulfillment
- It decreases judgmental attitudes
I suppose it’s true. Seniors with sedentary routines, who never emerge from their comfort zones for social interaction, are most likely boring and bored. If seniors are bored, their boredom may certainly lead to depression, which is a catalyst for physical and mental decline.
If Home Helpers® can provide companionship for seniors living alone and a means to get out of the house for an improved social life, I am happy to offer a FREE Consultation to match the perfect compassionate caregiver to lift the boredom and brighten those boring days!
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for 2017, 2018 & 2019. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ (727) 240-3059
Sixty and Me