Elderly are often seen as looking inwardly. If this were really true, then I'm not one of those.
I must make myself look inward occasionally and then primarily to rediscover who I am. I'm never the same person from day to day. I suppose no one is. So I have to keep track from time to time.
I seldom run except for some urgent reason. I don't like walking but I make myself walk some, usually everyday. I'd rather sit than stand—I suppose most would. But what I like most is to observe and analyze what I see. What I see is only part of the observation, not always visual and even so, it is less a part of the whole analysis.
My observations tend to be selective and based on my interests and maintained knowledge on specific subjects and therefore biased, what I call wisdom. Wisdom is individual and no other has the same wisdom as another. Not all of us who claim to be wise would ever agree with another wise person let alone admit to any agreement. We often start by saying that we don't agree.
The main thing that I've discovered about observation, analysis and wisdom is that if I do not write it down, it disappears and is often lost forever. So I write as much as possible and find that doing a posting on the blog is like a small chocolate or a small glass of previously untried liqueur. So I'm thankful to this technology. It gives me the opportunity to occasionally turn inward and analyze myself for a short time, but there's too much to criticize.
So that's perhaps why older adults seem to be looking inward for they have a knowledge of themselves and their experiences over the years and may wonder as to why they've done things and do things as they do today and perhaps imagine how different things would have been if they had turned left instead of right or even gone straight ahead instead of turning.
But I don't believe that older adults do turn inward. I believe that observation and concentration gives them that appearance. They appear to turn inward because they are no longer participants. They are on the sidelines and often the observers.
Society doesn't care or give them much for their wisdom and more often than not an elderly person isn't comfortable in expressing wisdom, let alone in sharing it among those who do not value the worthiness of it.
Therefore, inward or not, uninformed or wise, non-participants can't appear to be participating when they are not.