The insidious thing about otherization is that it is applied to all kinds of distinctions: race, ethnicity, gender, ability, and sexual orientation, to name a few. And, of course, to age.
Agism cuts both ways, discriminating against both the so-called ‘young’ and ‘old,’ and turns these two seemingly innocuous words into pejoratives. When ‘young’ and ‘old’ are used colloquially rather than as they were intended (as comparative markers of time) they become profane.
Like questions about any other topic, the ones we ask about aging and the ways in which we choose to answer them reveal what we believe and care about.
I have been advocating that community planners switch to the terms “age-inclusive” and “dementia-inclusive,” as these terms raise the bar by requiring the inclusion of such people in all aspects of community life and planning, rather than simply creating a kind but misguided process of substituted judgment.
If you listen closely enough, you will hear the word “my” used very often in the long term care world. In particular, “my resident” is often used in nursing homes.
Strolling around the interwebs the other day, I landed at a blog (new to me) by a 50-something woman who described herself thusly: “Nowadays, as I find myself getting older in body, I am trying to stay young in spirit.”…
This letter has been sitting on my to-do list since at least last January. I finally settled down yesterday, got it written and emailed it to Arthur S. Brisbane who is the public editor at The New York Times. Dear…