The words to a song made famous by Bing Crosby set the scene for a key part of the ageing agenda. Namely: you've got to accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative.
United States biology professor Dr Bruce Yanker would concur. In fact, he says certain abilities improve with age for most people.
Rather than thinking about capabilities being on the downward slope instead continue to hone your skills with dedication and precision.
Older people are less likely to rush to judgment and more likely to reach the right conclusion based on the information. This is an enormous help in everyday problem solving from planning and managing one’s day.
In middle age, you continue to expand your vocabulary and hone your ability to express yourself. Watching older people whip through word puzzles and the like confirm this.
Remember those quizzes that require you to identify an object that has been turned around? You are likely to score better on them in your 50's and 60's than you did in your teens. And you may be better at some aspects of driving, too, because you are better able to assess the distance between your car and other objects on the road.
You may be better at dividing he bill at a meal or adding up a series of shopping.
Accentuating the positive.
The amygdala, the area of the brain that consolidates emotion and memory, is less responsive to negatively charged situations in older people than in younger ones, which may explain why studies have shown that people over 60 tend to brood less.
Years ago, researchers were surprised to find that people seem to be more satisfied with their lives as they age, despite the losses that accumulate with passing years. This is probably because they tend to minimize the negative, accept their limitations and use their experience to compensate for them, and set reasonable goals for the future. Ironically this trait may be innate, because it is prevalent even in Western nations which show a tendency to value youth over age.
Maybe this attitude needs a rethink.