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Below are the answers to the true or false statements published in last month’s column.

  1. FALSE. It is NOT very difficult for older adults to learn new things. It is well established that those who regularly practice their learning skills maintain their learning efficiency over their life span.
  2. FALSE. Clinical depression DOES NOT occur more frequently in older than younger people. There is no evidence that depression occurs more often in older adults than younger groups, and it should not be considered a normal part of aging.
  3. FALSE. Personality DOES NOT change with age. Particular traits in youth and middle age will not only persist by may be more pronounced in later life.
  4. TRUE. Older adults DO have more trouble sleeping than younger adults do. They often experience sleep changes such as taking longer to fall asleep, frequent awakenings, daytime napping, and lighter sleep.
  5. TRUE. Physical strength DOES decline in old age. However, research shows that weight bearing exercise, aerobics, and weight resistance can restore muscle strength, increase stamina, stabilize balance and minimize falls.
  6. FALSE. Older people are NOT happier if they are allowed to disengage from society. There is substantial evidence that people who remain active and engaged have higher levels of function and happiness.
  7. TRUE. Older persons DO take longer to recover from physical and psychological stress.
    However, older adults who have developed active and health lifestyles may be able to resist some of the negative effects of stress or illness.
  8. TRUE. Most older adults DO consider their health to be good or excellent. Overall, most people over the age of 65 still rate their health positively.
  9. FALSE. Older workers CAN work as effectively as younger workers. Research has identified characteristics of low turnover, less voluntary absenteeism and fewer injuries in older workers.
  10. FALSE. Research DOES NOT show that old age truly begins at 65. Old age is a social construct. Meanings, definitions and experiences of aging vary across cultures and throughout history.