I follow a lot of social media sites and read conversations about what people saw in their day-to-day lives, what’s for sale, and those looking for employment. The employment comments on these sites seem to be the most comical. I often read about people looking for employment and stating things like, “Anyone knows of a job for me, maybe taking care of the elderly? I’m sure I could do that.”
I read one conversation recently in which the comments to this sort of post were even more shocking to me. One person commented, “I did that once. I took care of an elderly man with dementia. It’s pretty easy and it is no different than taking care of a child. Old people are stubborn. Lol.” My first thought to that was that I certainly hope this person isn’t taking care of one of my relatives. Despite the uneducated, disrespectful, and completely false statement that an older person, particularly one with dementia, is just like a child, there appears to be a general consensus among the general public that a person becomes stubborn when they become older. So how does that happen?
Apparently, on the 65th birthday of each older adult they immediately become infantile, cranky, and stubborn. I don’t understand how someone’s particular age equates to a personality trait. It really doesn’t.
First, the age of 65 is just a marker used by the government to determine when someone was classified as “old.” This age was set by the government over 70 years ago. That’s a topic for next month’s article though. The point for me is that one’s personality is consistent from early adulthood through the end of life. Personality doesn’t change when someone reaches 65 or any other age. Marked personality change is noted when a disease-state is present, though. It is often one of the first indicators of Alzheimer’s disease.
Individuals with cancer have been described as having a personality change as one of the key symptoms prior to diagnosis. Personality change becomes an indicator for disease-states because of the consistency of personality throughout adulthood. My point is that if you think an older person is stubborn, then that person was stubborn at 30, 40, and 50. Those individuals you may encounter are just stubborn people. We should leave their age out of it.