close up of Elderly person's face
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
May 14, 2024 ·  5 min read

15 of The Hardest Parts of Getting Old That Nobody Talks About

Getting old is hard on the body and the soul. We face health concerns, lose loved ones along the way, and witness enough current events to make us yearn for a simpler and happier world. However, there are challenges that people rarely discuss. Here are 15 examples of the hardest parts of aging.

1. Getting Old Leads to Loss of Independence

Old woman hands with cane. Senior people health care.
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As people age, their physical abilities, like sight and mobility, decrease. As such, they require extra assistance with everyday tasks like running errands or getting dressed. In many cases, the loss of independence can lead to feelings of frustration, embarrassment, or inadequacy.

2. Health Deteriorates

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Some work hard to keep their bodies in top shape, while others prefer to eat, live, and celebrate like it’s their last day. Either way, getting old is inevitable, and so is the increased risk of health concerns. In many cases, these challenges lead to a future of medications and maintenance.

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3. So Does Memory

Memory Disorder
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Memory loss is another unavoidable part of growing old as the brain ages also. However, exercises like Sudoku or crossword puzzles can help strengthen the brain and its ability to remember. Furthermore, picking up a new hobby or skill from time to time will also help create and strengthen new neural pathways.

4. Or Cognitive function

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Memory isn’t the only brain function impacted by aging. Another hard part of getting old is that our brains lose cognitive function, including memory, problem-solving, making sound judgments, and one’s perception of the things happening around them.

5. Getting Old can Lead to Isolation

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Growing old causes decreased mobility and social circles, often leading to feelings of isolation or loneliness. In turn, this takes a huge toll on one’s happiness and mental health. Fortunately, community centers and retired living communities offer some relief to seniors in these areas, helping them get out and socialize.

6. Or Feeling Left Out

In the same way, aging leads to feelings of isolation; it also makes people feel left out. When people have limited mobility or resources, their ability to travel or interact with others becomes stunted. However, combatting that is easy because activities like crafts or playing games are fun for the whole family, ensuring no one is left out.

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7. Financial Hardships May Arise

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Generally, getting old leads to retirement. However enjoyable the free time may be, it does have one drawback. People find themselves on a much tighter budget, living on a fixed income. In fact, the fear of outliving one’s savings account is a prominent concern for people as they age. However, savings or investments might be a good way to supplement a monthly income.

8. Purpose May Become a Challenge

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Growing old is hard because people no longer feel they belong in the world. They don’t have a reason for being here or a sense of purpose because they’ve stopped working and aren’t as social or active.

9. Getting Old Causes Bodily Strain

Elderly woman riding a bike. Gravel trail, grass, ocean, and mountains in the background.
Photo Credit: Pasja1000 | Pixabay

As previously mentioned, getting old impacts mobility and overall health, but with that also comes aches and pains. Challenges from arthritis to merely sleeping in the wrong position can lead to severe joint, neck, or back pain. Further perpetuating struggles with mobility.

10. Getting Old Causes More Falls

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Due to decreased mobility, there is another prevalent concern among the aging. The fear of falling is high in aging adults because falls become more common. Also, bones become frail and are more prone to break or suffer irreparable damage. Moreover, in some extreme cases, a fall can be fatal.

11. Getting Old is Emotional

Old lonely woman sitting near the window at home
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Not only is getting old frustrating because of the limitations it brings. It’s also an emotional process because of all the loss it brings. Getting old creates several scenarios in which grief and loss become increasingly prevalent—for example, someone who has lost their parents, siblings, and friends in their retirement community.

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12. Getting Old Changes Appearances

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Another inevitable part of aging is changing features like wrinkly skin or graying hair. However, the stigma in society around aging can make it hard for people to embrace their changing bodies. This can lead to feelings of insecurity or depression.

13. Healthcare is Confusing

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For most, the healthcare system in the U.S. is scary or overwhelming. Treatments and medications are so costly, and policies are full of details that are hard to track for most people. However, getting old only increases these challenges as most people will require more extensive care as they age.

14. Feeling Unsupported

Senior woman suffering from a headache
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Due to the stigma of aging in our society, those who are facing health or physical challenges may also be presented with another difficulty. In many cases, the elderly are disregarded when they express concerns to others, including their healthcare providers. They may also be overlooked when looking for something at the grocery store. Furthermore, getting old often makes people more vulnerable to being taken advantage of.

15. No Longer Relatable

Old lonely woman sitting near the window in his house.
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Many people discredit the advice or wisdom of the elderly because they don’t feel someone so much older can relate to their own plights. This can make it hard for aging people to relate to others and they may end up feeling unseen or unheard.

Getting old isn’t easy for anyone, but it’s possible for someone to find some relief. Some steps to take to make the process easier include having a positive but realistic outlook, staying as active as possible for as long as possible, and setting up a support system that is solid but also flexible, as plans often change during the aging process.

H/t: The Busy Retiree

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