This Week’s Theme: The Cult of Adulthood
A Cult of Adulthood
America lauds youth and disdains age. But how are the worship of youth and the bias against age maintained? No cultural system of this size and power can endure unless it can also define the essential building blocks of daily life. How we experience time, money, faith, childhood, and relationships have been transformed in ways that relentlessly reinforce the primacy of adults and adulthood.
Countering the Cult of Adulthood
The backlash against our culture’s manic cult of adulthood is beginning. Here is one small example. If you want to try the real thing go HERE.
|The Glory of the Grumpy Old Man
Conventional wisdom tells us that old people are and want to be very like young people. Having conversations with older people, however, quickly reveals how rarely this is true. One of most important ( and most overlooked) benefits of outgrowing adulthood lies in the capacity of elderhood to grant people permission to be their authentic, grouchy, irascible selves. Continue reading here.
|Gay Elders Going Back in the Closet
Gen Silent is the new LGBT documentary that asks six LGBT seniors if they will hide their lives to survive in the care system. They put a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender seniors so afraid of discrimination in long-term/health care or bullying by other seniors that many go back into the closet. If you are in the DC area and would like to attend a screening on February 24 and be part of a follow up discussion the event details are here.
Swedish gerontologist Lars Tornstam developed his theory of “Gerotranscendence” over a period of two decades. The core of the theory suggests that normal human aging includes a range of vital and commonly overlooked components. In brief:
Click here to read more.
|Annals of Unusual Side Effects
I always tell my patients that prescription drugs are as effective— and dangerous— as razor blades and should be handled with just as much care. This wire story about a patient suing GlaxoSmithKline and alleging harm from medication side-effects caught my attention because the claims being made were so unusual:
I don’t have an opinion about the merit of these claims. There is much we don’t know about neurotransmitters and the drugs we use to manipulate them. What I do know is that the side-effects, misuse, over-prescription and interactions between prescription drugs is a MAJOR health care problem everywhere, all the time, every day. Continue reading here.
The Green House Project
Ingredients for Excitement, Recipes for Meaning
Food is pleasure. Preparing it, smelling it and eating it, regardless of our dining rituals, food brings meaning to our lives and defines a part of our individuality. The Green House Model protects this philosophy through teaching the importance of simple pleasures and by making cooking and eating a pleasurable and central part of daily life. Please visit The Green House Project Blog here and share recipes of foods that will always be part of your life.
|Which generation do you belong to?
USA Today is running a fantastic series on the Boomers. The latest content includes a “Generation Quiz” that looks like it could have been designed BY/FOR the Changing Aging crowd. I was born in 1959 but the quiz guessed 1966. I think the fact that I am not well versed in popular culture might have been part of the problem. Try it Here
Culture Change Guest Post
Changing Aging One Conversation at a Time
Eyes are trained to see through a certain lens. When that lens is the cultural definition of aging as decline, it is clouded and focuses solely on wrinkles, slowed reflexes, and memory lapses. When we begin to have Healing Conversations with elders, the lens through which we see is sharpened, and the picture shifts. Whether we inquire into the lives and passions of residents of long-term care facilities, engage an elder at the grocery store, or initiate these conversations with our loved ones so we can get to know them more fully, Healing Conversations reveal the whole and vital person. Our culturally defined lens is refracted, and we see aging anew.
Joan Chadbourne is co-author of the upcoming book Healing Conversations Now: Enhance Relationships with Elders and Dying Loved Ones. Do you have a book that is ChangingAging? Share it with us!