Michelle Kent

22 Realities of Life After 60 That Take Many by Surprise

The process of getting older happens to us all, and reaching the golden age of your life is a joy. While you’ll be unsurprised by the number of candles adorning your birthday cake, certain aspects of aging may come as a shock. From the joyful highs to the frustrating lows, here are 22 signs of getting older that you won’t expect. 

Wisdom

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Getting older can also mean becoming wiser if we view our past experiences in the right way. Oscar Wilde once said “Wisdom comes with winters,” and with many decades under your belt, you’re sure to have learned a thing or two. 

Ageism

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Unfortunately, retirees are often exposed to the ageism of younger generations. Whether it manifests in healthcare settings, at the supermarket, or unconsciously from loved ones, older people can feel judged based on their birth year.

Thinning Hair

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We all expect gray or even white hair as we get older, but many people are surprised to discover their luscious locks thinning. This is due to a change in hormone levels but can exacerbated by a lack of nutrition or genetics. 

Not Wanting To Socialise As Much

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After so many decades of socializing, many retirees find peace in their own company, or by spending time with their nearest and dearest. While social gatherings aren’t completely off the agenda, you might find you have less energy for them. 

Hair Growth In Strange Places

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Another quirk of aging is that, while hair vanishes in some places, it appears strangely in others. Many seniors notice more hair growth in their ears, nose, or from moles on their faces. 

Tricky Digestion

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From your 60s onwards, the digestive enzymes in your gut will start to decrease, making it harder for the body to process certain foods. To counteract these challenges, make sure to eat healthily, exercise when possible, and add fiber to meals such as raw vegetables. 

Slower Reaction Times

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Our physical response times change as we get older, and this is due to unavoidable changes in the brain. Signals from the brain to muscles and nerves weaken over time, meaning we won’t react as quickly. To avoid injuries and stay as sharp as possible, seniors should get their vision and hearing tested regularly.

More Confidence

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A lot of pessimism surrounds getting older, but many seniors find that they are happier than ever. Unburdened by societal pressure, and with countless life experiences to refer to, we become more confident as we age.

Decreasing Energy Levels

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Senior sleepiness is nothing to worry about, and it’s a common phenomenon. While you won’t be nodding off mid-sentence, many older people find they no longer have the boundless energy of their youth. 

Changing Sleep Patterns

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As people age, their circadian rhythm changes and can cause their sleeping routines to alter. This phenomenon is called a phase advance and is a natural biological change. Retirees usually feel ready to sleep earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning. 

Fragile Skin

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Our skin produces natural oils to stay plump and moisturized, but this all changes as we age. Not only do older people produce less of these oils, but their blood vessel walls become thinner. This makes seniors more prone to bruising, dry skin, and sun damage. 

Sun Spots Appear

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Whether you spent the 1970s catching rays, indulging in the occasional sun bed, or applying sunscreen religiously, sun spots will start to appear. Of course, the number of spots you notice will depend on how vigilant you were about sun protection in your youth. Whatever the case, it’s important to go for regular skin cancer screenings. 

Swapping Style For Comfort

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As we age, gone are the days of office attire, high heels, or neck-stifling ties. Retirees find themselves less worried about the latest fashion trends, and more concerned with how comfortable they feel. After years of suffering for fashion, you’ll want to embrace loungewear and soft fabrics. 

Less Desire To Drink Booze

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You likely spent much of your youth partying every weekend and drinking your fair share of booze. But getting older means our bodies can’t tolerate alcohol as well as before. Instead of drinking the night away, you’ll probably want to stay in and swap hard liquor for cups of tea. 

Dental Issues

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One of the more frustrating things about aging is that our teeth decline. Years of biting down and chewing take their toll, with many seniors finding that their teeth have worsened. With this in mind, take frequent trips to your dentists, and consider crowns or other dental work. 

Difficulty Losing Weight

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If you’re starting your weight loss journey as a retiree, you might find it difficult to shed the pounds. While losing weight is possible as we age, it can be trickier. This is because our metabolisms naturally slow, and our digestive systems aren’t as efficient. 

Nostalgia

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The weight of nostalgia can be heavy as we age and see the world around us changing rapidly. Getting older naturally means you’ll feel more nostalgic, craving the familiar comforts of a bygone era. Instead of letting nostalgia become a bitter emotion, try to embrace change while revisiting vintage pastimes. 

Wrinkles

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After the age of 20, humans produce 1% less collagen each year, meaning that by the time we enter the golden years, a fair few wrinkles have formed. 

Physical Changes

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Several strange physical changes occur as we get older, and while many of them are to be expected, others are surprising. Our muscles lose strength, and our bones tend to shrink in density and size. 

More Health Check-Ups

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If you’re someone who’s lived a life without frequent health check-ups, this will change as you get older. Aging comes with an increased risk of health issues, and the best way to combat these is by heading to the doctor for frequent blood tests.

Seasonal Vaccines

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As we get older, our immune system weakens, leaving us open to various seasonal illnesses. For most seniors, the arrival of winter means heading to the doctor for their yearly immunizations, preventing illnesses such as influenza

More In Tune With Your Emotions

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Contrary to the opinion that aging comes with negative emotions, seniors are reportedly happier than ever. This comes from being more in tune with their emotions and a greater awareness of what they want in life. 

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