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Bill is a visionary leader in the online Changing Aging movement and a world-renowned authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare. Bill is founder of two movements to reshape long-term care globally – The Eden Alternative and Green House Project.

40 Responses

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  1. Lynne Taetzsch
    Lynne Taetzsch at | | Reply

    I’m sorry, but I think it IS an accomplishment to STILL be able to climb Pike’s Peak at 94, or whatever. The comparison to babies and toddlers growing up just doesn’t work the same way. Since the reasons we stop driving or water skiing or climbing mountains is deteriorating vision, coordination, balance, and so forth, why celebrate these changes the way we would the growth of a child? It is important to live as fully as we can with whatever capabilities we have at any age, and we should get to define what is “good living” ourselves. I am 71 and not proud of what I can still do, but consider myself fortunate to be able to do those things.

    1. Kavan Peterson, Editor,
      Kavan Peterson, Editor, at | | Reply

      Thanks for sharing that view Lynne, I think a lot of people feel that way. I don’t think anyone is immune to the desire to retain the strength and vigor we had in our youth or having pride in doing so. I’m 35 and the only thing I can’t “still” do is recover from a hangover before lunchtime. I run almost every day, faster and farther than I ever did in my 20s, and I climb mountains and repel into caves for fun. Right now I desire to do that stuff as long as I live and I have trouble imagining a life in which I can’t scale a mountain. But I know, eventually, inevitably, the day will come when either I can’t or no longer desire to run or climb. I hope when that happens I am able to come to terms with the change — on my own terms. But I also hope my family, friends and society won’t define me based on what I can or cannot “still” do.

  2. jackyork100
    jackyork100 at | | Reply

    Good post, I’m entrenched in the middle of the world of aging and I’m subconsciously completely guilty of this, thats an easy one to change. However, on a personal note I’m going to keep saying about my self that I “still” can’t dunk!

  3. Judy Jones
    Judy Jones at | | Reply

    OMG…I just don’t know what to say when people say, “Are you STILL working?” Do they mean, I look too old, act too old, should be acting my age??? They make me feel like I’m doing something wrong.

  4. Rachel Adelson
    Rachel Adelson at | | Reply

    Thanks so much for this. I heard this in conversation myself recently and spoke up about the hidden message. This is such a common slip. I’m sure I’ve done this myself. Still, it’s right up there with “You still look good for XO.” Substitute “still” work well, speak well, move well, etc. “for XO.” What a surprise! You’re not decrepit! As for older adults trying to retain “youthfulness,” we can re-frame that attribute as the presence of energy, vigor, dynamism and so on. We can’t live backwards but we can live fully. – Rachel Adelson, author, “Staying Power: Age-Proof Your Home for Comfort, Safety and Style”

  5. Gaea Yudron
    Gaea Yudron at | | Reply

    Wonderful blog essay…thank you…shared it on FB.

  6. Cindy Laverty
    Cindy Laverty at | | Reply

    Brilliant…brilliant…brilliant! It’s the subtleties of language that we aren’t even aware of. Thank you for bringing this subject to the forefront of the conversation. I’d love to use some quotes from here on my blog.

  7. Laura
    Laura at | | Reply

    I work in the field of services to older adults and this article has just caused me to stop and realize what I am saying each day. Yes, this post is helping change the way we think about aging. You just made me change the way I speak and think. Good job.

    1. Kavan Peterson, Editor,
      Kavan Peterson, Editor, at | | Reply

      Laura — that’s one of the most rewarding reader comments we’ve ever gotten. Real. Personal. Impactful. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Monica Stynchula (@DovetailCare)
    Monica Stynchula (@DovetailCare) at | | Reply

    there’s a a phrase I’d add to your STILL is “Oh, bless you heart”

  9. Juanita Crider
    Juanita Crider at | | Reply

    I love this!!! I might have to borrow your phrase “The tyranny of the still! I of course will credit it to you!

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