Health Risks of a Rigid Mind


Health risks exist for aging adults who have rigid minds. Those who refuse to consider recommendations by physicians and who are viewed as “difficult patients” may not receive good care.

Elderly parents who refuse help from their children can be viewed as stubborn. Parents who fail to plan medically and legally for the future can find themselves without support when needed.

Challenges of  Rigid Minds

With age, comfort exists with routine and stability. The challenge is that while people relish routine, the outside world continually changes.  Technology continues to advance whether one learns to use a computer or a mobile phone. 

Costs for everything, especially healthcare rises with age. Having a rigid mind makes it difficult for doctors to help patients. Aging adults who refuse medical advice are documented to be non-compliant in medical charts making it more difficult to receive help in the future. 

Not many people enjoy change that is not self-initiated.  My brother’s twice-yearly visits to my parent’s home resulted in deep cleaning and rearranging of furniture.  The rearranging always resulted in temporary distress for my parents who were very appreciative of the cleaning under furniture they could no longer move about and the flipping of heavy mattresses.

Stuck in a Rut?

How many feel uncomfortable or irritated when presented with an unexpected or significant life change? Or to consider changing a “we’ve always done it this way” or a “stuck in the old way” behavior.

It is easy to become stuck in a rut and not notice the health risks of having a rigid mind. Unless of course, someone says “stop being stubborn or difficult!” A significant change in health can change daily routines overnight. The idea of becoming more flexible may become mandatory than optional when having to rely on others for help.

Change is Part of Life

Change is part of life as we age and health changes. The 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s are usually filled with good health and abundant energy. The 50’s can bring changes in physical strength and endurance if one is not devoted to daily exercise and good nutrition. Beyond age 60, managing chronic diseases may be a regular part of life for the years remaining. 

While the idea of resisting failing health by being proactive is a positive action, resisting recommendations by medical providers relative to nutrition, exercise, and health, can be disastrous to our health and to our enjoyment of life. Refusing care can be a risk to good health and receiving better than average healthcare.

Test Your Strength and Balance

If you are a person needing proof of how easily the body changes without notice, try the following exercise.  You’ll need a watch with a second hand or the ability to stand in front of a clock with a second hand so you can time this activity.


1) Stand,

2) Lift one leg off the floor,

3) Bend the leg you lifted off the floor so that your foot is at a 45-degree angle behind you and even with the level of your knee. 

How long are you able to maintain this position without grabbing furniture for balance support or falling to the right or left?

For older adults absence of physical activity is tragic and results in poor balance, frequent falls, broken hips, and social isolation. While minds benefit from an activity like reading, puzzles, and other mental stimulation the body needs exercise and strength training to avoid harm. 

Remaining Healthy Requires a Flexible Mind and Body

Remaining healthy is a total package of taking care of yourself physically and mentally.  Individuals who had little interest in hobbies during their work life often find themselves experiencing boredom after retirement. 

Others who might not have attended to their health find their health worsening and do nothing but complain about all the activities in which they can no longer participate.  Complaining may help you feel better but it will not solve the issues or problems you are experiencing.

Solutions require action. Being open-minded to considering suggestions and recommendations is the answer to avoiding a rigid mind that prevents better than average healthcare.

A flexible, open, and questioning mind offers significant benefits to your health and overall well-being. Rigid minds more often result in weak bodies and poor health.  It is never too late to learn a new skill, begin a new hobby, or think differently about your health.

I know a woman who at 65 started a yearly routine of climbing the Grand Canyon.  Today she’s 104 and in good health and remains in contact with friends who are 10-20 years her junior.  Aging is a number that does not always indicate poor health if you are able to maintain a flexible mind.

© 2012, 2013, 2019  Pamela D. Wilson.  All Rights Reserved.

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