There is a common tendency to address these challenges with simple or complicated solutions more befitting of the inanimate. We believe the best solutions, while ever-changing, will come from the community itself, and each community is different.
One of the biggest problems with the life “stages” notion is the expectations and “rules” that go along with them: I’m an adult now, I should act grown up; I have a family, I should be responsible; I’m old so I should act my age and move to a retirement home.
Imagine a dementia-inclusive community; a place where each person’s uniqueness is valued, deep relationships flourish and differences are embraced. Imagine a dementia-inclusive community where each person’s perceptions and experience of the world, while often different than our own, are taken into account and honored.
Every time we assign the sole responsibility of aging well to an individual, we disregard that person’s uniqueness in a very unrealistic and unjust way. Each of us has gone through a combination of biological and socioeconomic experiences that have affected us at every turn.
The ChangingAging Tour returns in 2018 as a part of The Eden Alternative International Conference in Atlanta, May 3-5. Go behind scenes in a day in the life of the tour with Disrupt Dementia cast member Kyrié Carpenter.
A report from the Slow Lane: Social coercion is a complex phenomenon. Social coercion is the water we learn to be ourselves in; it is the complex environment that coaxes out of us our own nuances.
Just as we are encouraged to believe those who report experiences of sexual harassment, so, too, should we believe older adults who report elder harassment in any of its forms. Ageism, too, is a spectrum of abuse. All of this is to say that harassment in any form, toward any person, and for any reason should not be justified or tolerated.
Depression does not need to be a normal part of aging. It’s up to all of us to acknowledge—and address—the risk.