Üsküdar University Founding Rector, Psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan made a statement on aging and the psychology of old age. Stating that if a person cannot get out of his comfort zone, cannot learn new things, is not surprised and thinks he knows most things, if he lives the memories of his youth and constantly thinks about the past, that person can be defined as old, Psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said that old age and aging start from the brain. prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan noted that the motivation to learn new things and taking risks keeps the brain young. said. Stating that the biggest problems of the elderly are loneliness and social isolation, Tarhan emphasized the importance of positive interaction within the family.
Stating that modernism sees the elderly as a burden, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan:
“Modernism has given us a lot of positive things, but it has had negative effects on our culture. One of these effects was the understanding that sees the elderly as a burden. In the period before the Second World War broke out in Europe under the influence of the capitalist system, ideas were put forward that those who reached a certain age should die. Thoughts suggesting that old individuals are useless if they no longer produce… Elderly individuals have begun to be considered as factors that increase operating costs. Many incentives were made, such as leaving the elderly to their own devices and even euthanasia.” he said.
Stating that the dialogues with the elderly are weak, Tarhan said that this is reflected in some segments of the society.
Tarhan said, “The dialogue with the elderly has weakened due to the spread of egocentrism, especially among young people, who think only of their own pleasure and comfort. His ties were weakened and broken. This is due to the weakening of the extended family and the absence of wise elders as before.” made the statement.
Noting that the biggest problem of the elderly today is loneliness and social isolation, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “We have less of this problem in the world, especially compared to Western countries. That reduction is actually related to our cultural codes. Time is changing so fast now. Previously, sociological changes occurred once every 30 years. Now, sociological changes have decreased to once every three years.” said.
Noting that the Western world realized that this understanding was wrong, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan stated that the definition of old age was also redefined and said:
“They started to value the elderly again. It works for the elderly to participate in social life. He redefined old age. UNESCO has a great definition of old age. 'When does a person age? If a person cannot get out of his comfort zone, he is old. The second is old if he can't learn new things, isn't surprised, and thinks he knows most things. If he thinks 'I know everything', if he is closed to learning by asking questions, if he does not wonder, if he does not discover and lives his memories of the past, if he lives the memories of his youth and constantly contemplates the past, he is old. said.
prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan stated that being curious and astonished, taking risks keeps the brain young.
Stating that a person's motivation to learn new things, to be surprised, to wonder, to be amazed and to take risks, are the things that keep the brain young. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “If we compare our body to a state, the brain is the government. If the brain works well, all organs work well. Therefore, old age actually starts from the brain. When a person says 'I am getting old', the brain puts itself in the definition of aging. She takes a position about him, starts to avoid him. He makes connections and perceptions about it.” said.
prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan noted that there are four groups of aging and listed them as chronological, biological, psychological and sociological aging.
prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan, “The chronological age is the age on our birth certificate. Biological age is related to our body. If we take good care of ourselves, pay attention to our eating, drinking and lifestyle, the chronological age will be 70-80, but the person looks 50-60 years old. Psychologically, the same person is 70-80 years old, but you see, he is psychologically energetic. He is learning new things, learning computers, learning new programs. If he is dynamic, commutes to work, and remains productive, his psychological age is younger than his chronological age, or vice versa.” said.
prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan stated that sociological age is the ability to act in harmony with the society in which one lives.
Tarhan said, “If the person is out of the chosen loneliness, that is, if he or she is left alone without wanting to, if he is isolated, no one excludes him without realizing it, but if he is alone, if he has avoidance behaviors, these people are more worn out. Sociologically, people who are left alone are called old…”
Stating that people without mental flexibility age faster, Tarhan said, “This situation usually happens at conservative ages. So they don't have mental flexibility. He wants everything to fit on his own terms. If sitting, getting up, eating, doing something doesn't suit him, he gets angry. 'It's better not like this,' he says. These people become stubborn and do not show mental flexibility. They can't adapt and they are always nervous. They fight and argue with the people around them. People with mental flexibility are always smiling. They can adapt to the environment. Such people also adapt to nursing homes.” said.
Expressing that it is recommended to live in the environment they are used to for elderly people, but sometimes they can stay in elderly care homes. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan made the following statement:
“As a society and as state institutions, we have a system that can successfully ensure that elderly people are not left on the streets. There are many elderly care institutions and institutions such as Hospice. It provides good comfort to elderly individuals and meets their mental needs. He even tries to meet his psychological needs. He is trying to ensure his comfort. Those people can produce beautiful things there. He also feels better when he produces.”
prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan stated that grandchildren are good for older people.
Stating that the most important thing for an elderly person is to ask for his opinion and to state that his opinions are needed, “It is very important to ask that person's opinion about any situation and to try to benefit from his/her experiences. That's why grandfather and grandchild get along very well. Grandparents, grandmothers or grandmothers have the desire and urge to tell and share. The child also has a desire to ask and learn. These two combine. Middle-aged parents are always busy. He can't take care of children. The experience of adults comes into play here.” said.
Tarhan said that children should be in dialogue with older people.
Tarhan said, “Some parents do not support their child's contact with older people. These people act with the idea that 'my mother and father are changing my child's behavior'. However, the child will learn about life from the elders of the family. We can't raise a child in a glass jar." said.
Noting that another situation that occurs in elderly individuals is the fear of innovation, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan concluded his statement as follows:
“Some older people see new things as a threat. In such cases, they are closed to new experience. For him, the person who is open to new experiences has not aged at any age. We do not call it the psychology of aging, it is the psychology of aging. Aging can be slowed down, stopped, delayed, but when you say old age, it seems like destiny.”