We should also take responsibility for changing social misperceptions about the “golden years” of old age and instead “steel ourselves” to forge a newer and better reality of elderhood.
The Age of Actualization is a magnificent addition to the literature on both aging and positive psychology. More importantly in these dire times, it may be a critical source of wisdom we humans need to right our ship.
Sometimes amidst the chaos, there are moments of clarity, when we’re reminded why we do the work we do. I had one of those moments last October, during one of those speaking engagements when you’re not sure anyone really cares what you have to say.
In the time-honored tradition of year-end lists and gift ideas, I’m asking ChangingAging’s bloggers and audience to submit their personal Top 5 Books on Aging reading lists.
I want to explore a kind of story that was designed by indigenous people to look collectively at difficult moral and social issues. The story–form is called the dilemma story.
The Wall Street Journal published an article recently that challenges head on the declinist myths of aging.
She said, “a spring.” I said, ”yes, perhaps that’s it.” We were trying to think of a metaphor, a symbol, for what we could imagine emerging in the elder’s group.
With the ripening that comes, when one isn’t looking, when gray and wrinkles seem to be breaking out everywhere, something else, something far more mysterious is happening.
Growing older has meant, for some of us, that we have arrived, despite still having further to go, at a time and place in our lives, where there are no roles, rules, or expectations, other than our own.
“How did we arrive at this moment?” Dr. Bill Thomas asked journalist Marsha Felton for a cover story profile in the magazine Active Over 50.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Second Wind Tour has been the amazing connections we’ve made via Twitter.
There is little if anything in our culture that would lead me to believe I would feel this good about being an old woman.
I am unwilling to accept the toxic, unreal stereotypes about aging and older adults that pervade media, healthcare, the workplace and community.
In his recent New York Times op/ed “The Joy of Old Age” (No Kidding), Oliver Sacks states what I consider to be the underpinning of the philosophy of this blog.
Can you imagine yourself older? Can you imagine yourself as an Elder? Do you even want to?
Yes, labels (such as “elderly”) matter, for better or worse. They are also kind of dangerous, and as a culture, we’re hooked on them. They’re like a verbal system that dehumanizes communication, much as the medical model, or “systems”, dehumanize caregiving.
I was recently involved in a minor dust up on Twitter regarding the use of the word “elderly.”
Over the years I have evolved from using that word routinely to avoiding it completely. Why the change?
I graduated college December 21, 2012 and was summarily catapulted into real life. Certainly the past 22 years have been real; I have had my share of trials to date, but until now I had been living the life of a child. Childhood, in my view, was characterized by a lack of independence and the accompanying stress. As a child proper I depended wholly on my parents for support and guidance and as I grew this reliance diminished but never went away fully.
They don’t say it out loud, but the can’t-miss message is that it’s not good to be old. They never give a reason but it is obvious that old people behaving like – well, old people somehow offends the sensibilities of the world at large and especially younger people.
Asking older adults to hand over their keys is a difficult but necessary part of aging. It is so difficult because it is often a family member or physician, not the elder, who has to make the decision to end an age of independence.