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America’s population is getting older, and with that aging comes a whole new understanding of what it means to be elderly. Here are a few facts to get you up to date on aging.
- 50% of all the people who have lived to over 65 years old are alive today. (CITE)
- Elderly men are more likely to live with someone, while elderly women are more likely to live alone.
- After age 75, 1/3 of men and ½ of women don’t get any physical activity, despite the fact that seniors’ bodies are capable of moving and exercising well into old age.
- While drivers over 75 have a higher rate of fatal car crashes, they actually have a lower rate of overall crashes, probably due to the fact that they limit driving in difficult conditions.
- Many people report feeling more content as they get older. A 2008 Gallup poll found that by most measures, older Americans are happier.
- Dementia is one of the biggest threats to the elderly, but some studies show that the longer you stay in school, the more likely you are to be able to fight off dementia. Even if your brain does deteriorate, you are less likely to show behavior signs of the disease. One additional year of education can decrease your risk by 11%.
- One high risk in old age is falling. It turns out that the secret to keeping yourself safe from falling is simply not thinking about falling. People who worry about falling fall more frequently.
- There is an extremely high rate of poverty in the elderly. 16.8% of elderly Americans are poor or nearly poor.
- Although many seniors say they don’t need much sleep, the elderly do actually require just as much sleep as they did when they were younger. It can simply be harder for them to fall or stay asleep.
- In October 2011, Fauja Singh completed the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. What makes him outstanding is that he was 100 years old at the time.
- One-third of babies born in the UK in 2012 are expected to reach 100 years old.