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Negative ageism risks memory, hearing

Washington: If you entertain negative age stereotypes, you may want to read this: When older adults don’t feel good about aging, they may lack confidence in their abilities to hear and remember things and perform poorly at both.

People’s feelings about getting older influence their sensory and cognitive functions, said lead author Alison Chasteen. “Those feelings are often rooted in stereotypes about getting older and comments made by those around them that their hearing and memory are failing. So, we need to take a deeper and broader approach to understanding the factors that influence their daily lives.”

The participants who held negative views about getting older and believed they had challenges with their abilities to hear and remember things, also did poorly on the hearing and memory tests, said Chasteen.

Chasteen said the perceptions older people have about their abilities to function and how they feel about aging must be considered when determining their cognitive and sensory health. She recommends educating older people about ways in which they can influence their aging experience, including providing them with training exercises to enhance their cognitive and physical performance, and disspelling stereotypes about aging.

The study is published in Psychology and Aging. (ANI)