It's been said, "Growing old ain't for no sissy!"
The truth is the fear of growing old comes from two sources. Pause. Clear your mind. Read these words as though they are being felt from your aging loved ones perspective.
The first source of fear is found in the thought that being old brings on poverty. No one wants to land in the poorhouse. Imagine the chill of the person who's fear has them believing they will be left with no money to live and will be left to die alone. This is referred to as the basic fear of growing old. Humans have two reasons for this apprehension. The first is a belief that he/she can no longer trust their friends or family. This mistrust results in believing those who were once trusted will strip away whatever worldly goods they may possess. The other reason for this belief is based on pictures planted in the mind by today's media. In other words, old people on TV are seen in the depths of poverty, despair, misfortune, and poverty. These images take over the thought process which makes them reality.
The next source of fear can easily enslave an elderly person due to the past which has been mixed with "fire and brimstone" messages and other philosophy's that create a mindset of fear. Next time you sit in front of your TV note how many times you see an elderly person being left alone or is taken advantage of. Here, it's easy to fall into the trap of believing the loss of freedom and independence, as growing old will bring on the loss of physical and economic freedom.
The most common symptoms of the fear of growing old are:
The tendency to tell themselves they must slow down and subconsciously develop an inferiority complex.
Falsely believing it's time to begin "slipping" because of old age.
Developing a habit of continually repeating to themselves and others, "I am old". This prevents an attitude of gratitude which will reverse this symptom.
Initiative, imagination, and self-reliance begin to wain which shuts down enjoyment and pleasure.
Ill health is another common fear among the geriatric population. Believe it or not, eroticism enters as a fear of old age because no individual relishes the thought of a diminishing sex attraction.
The fear of growing old is as universal as being afraid of the dark. It's effects can be fatal because fear destroys initiative and imagination. Take inventory of your aging loved ones fears. Can you identify any of the aforementioned in their thinking? What steps can you take to help them conqueror this fear so life can be lived instead of stolen?