It’s become a trend in schools around the US to celebrate the 100th day of school by holding a “Dress Like a 100-Year-Old Day.” Pinterest and some websites provide instructions for parents to help their kids look and act the part of an old person. Today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders. We have a great opportunity to inoculate them against the damaging effects of ageism.
Our society devalues older adults. And because we devalue them, we devalue those living with dementia. We joke about them. We marginalize them. And we segregate them from society.
If a bunch of 40 and 50-year-olds at a resort (albeit a demolished one) on the beach can feel the effects of institutional practices in only four days, what chance do Elders have in a traditional nursing home over a long period of time?
Battling discomfort and mistrust of the “internet machine” is important in helping elders stave off the isolation that can accompany aging.
Many years ago, as a new nursing home administrator, I was quite taken with myself for teaching my staff how important it was to find out who our residents were.