Erik Erikson, a noted developmental psychologist stated that perhaps the most unhealthy tendency of seniors is the refusal to accept the bodily changes. This denial may actually be physically harmful. For example, denial of decreased physical strength and endurance can result in over-exertion to perform a particular task. Denial can also prevent people from becoming responsible for their own health and from taking steps to promote their well-being. Not accepting physical changes may cause older people to isolate themselves, emotionally and socially. It may be easier for the aged to stay at home rather than deal with decreased mobility or hearing.
Life is a series of changes. It is a misconception that after a certain age people suddenly become 'different'. It is a lifelong task for all of us to face reality rather than make a false image of oneself. Research has shown that how we react to and cope with different situations remains fundamentally consistent throughout our adult lives.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is coping with the loss of control. The changes are brought on by retirement or illness, changes in body image or appearance, financial changes and deaths of those close to us can make us feel powerless, lonely and unwanted.
If you feel this way, remember that the ideal solution is to make peace and adjust with the changes you must accept and battle those that you need not. You are a unique individual with a lot to offer and much to be thankful for, and it is not demeaning to gracefully accept some change, and with it, some help from others.