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Aging & Older People Quiz

Myths, stereotypes, and misinformation about aging can lead to harm. We invite you to test your knowledge on aging and older people. Answer ‘True’ or ‘False’ to each of the following statement and then check your responses. Professionals in health care, social services and other industries (e.g., banking, insurance, retail, utilities) play a significant role in helping people stay Safe after 60. Through increased awareness, education and the utilization of best-practice resources, we can encourage, equip, and empower people to age safely.


1. There are more people 65 years of age and older living today than ever before in history.

  • TRUE or FALSE
    • TRUE
      Between 2000 and 2030 the number of people over age 65 will soar from 35 million to 71.5 million. With a record number of Baby Boomers turning age 65 each day, the ‘Age Wave’, now known as the ‘Silver Tsunami’, is certain to wreak havoc as America is not prepared to serve, support and help safeguard this powerful, growing and often vulnerable population.

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2. Older people tend to be similar to one another whereas people 13-21 years of age tend to be quite different from one another.

  • TRUE or FALSE
    • FALSE
      While some people still believe older people are the same and they all love to play bingo at the nursing home, that is simply not true. Older people are a vibrant and diverse group with years of knowledge and experience. They deserve to be treated well, with dignity and respect. Older people, like all people, come in different colors, shapes and sizes. While they may have age in common, it is wrong to assume all older people are alike. Older people are no more similar to one another than teenagers, or people in any other age group.

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3. “How functional?” is better and more appropriate to assess than asking the question “How old?”

  • TRUE or FALSE
    • TRUE
      People commonly associate age with the length of time that has passed since one’s birth. At the Center for Aging with Dignity, we suggest a better or more relevant measure of age is ‘How Functional?’ instead of ‘How Old?’ In other words, is a person able to function and socialize to the extent they desire?

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4. Lifestyle choices and habits play a significant role in terms of how people age.

  • TRUE or FALSE
    • TRUE
      Beyond Health Care: New Directions to a Healthier America reports that how long and how well Americans live depends more on where individuals live, learn, work, and play than on their medical care, which accounts for only an estimated 10 percent to 15 percent of preventable early deaths. What's more, Americans overall are not nearly as healthy as they should be, regardless of where they live, their income, education, or racial or ethnic group. "For too long we have focused on medical care as the solution to our health problems, when the evidence tells us the opposite," said RWJF president and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. "We must make it possible for more people to make healthy decisions and avoid getting sick in the first place

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5. A common concern of older people is loneliness.

  • TRUE or FALSE
    • TRUE
      While older people often indicate they are lonely, especially those who recently lost a spouse and those who experience functional limitations. According to a recent AARP study, “Older adults and those with higher incomes reported lower rates of loneliness than those who were younger [45-54] or earned less income…Perceived lack of social support and a shrinking network of friends were associated with loneliness. Lonely respondents were also less likely to be involved in activities that can help build a social network such as attending religious services, volunteering, participating in a community organization or spending time on a hobby.”

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6. 50% of older people have arthritis?

  • TRUE or FALSE
    • TRUE
      Approximately 50% of people age 65 and older have arthritis, a condition characterized by inflammation in and around the joints. In addition to persistent pain, arthritis can cause stiffness, making certain aspects of independent living difficult, and may even lead to depression. In fact, 50 million Americans have been diagnosed with arthritis, making it the No. 1 cause of disability for people of all ages.

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7. Older people place a high value on their independence and freedom of choice.

  • TRUE or FALSE
    • TRUE
      Older people value having choice and control over how they live their lives. Independence is a central component of older people's well-being.

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8. As part of the natural aging process, older people are likely to experience diminished vision, hearing, cognitive performance and physical abilities.

  • TRUE or FALSE
    • TRUE
      Aging is a process of gradual change over time that is most noticeable in children and older adults. We reach our peak physical functioning and ability in our 20’s and early 30’s. These are the years that our bodies are the strongest, our senses are the keenest, and our minds are the sharpest. While the sequence of change is similar, the rate at which we experience physical change tends to be quite individual, often based on lifestyle choices, genetics and environmental factors. (Bee, H. L. (2000) The Journey of Adulthood (4th ed., pp. 62-97). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.)

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9. Falls are a leading cause of death among people age 65 and older, and approximately 35% of community-dwelling older people fall each year.

  • TRUE or FALSE
    • TRUE
      According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for older adults. The CDC indicates that an estimated one third of older adults fall, and the potential for falls increases significantly as one grows older. Falls are also a leading cause of non-fatal injuries, hospital admissions for trauma and were the major reason for over 1/3rd of nursing home admissions. For more information visit the CDC website.

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10. The effect of medications tends to be the same for people, regardless of age.

  • TRUE or FALSE
    • FALSE
      Medication safety is more important as we age because older people experience a decline in all body systems and are more at risk for negative drug reactions or interactions. Older people tend to take more prescription and over-the-counter preparations that increase the risk for mishaps. For more information visit: www.mustforseniors.org/index.jsp.

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