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Thread: Fighting stereotypes of ageing

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Fighting stereotypes of ageing

    This CBC https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmon...lson-1.5138896 article covers the public approach to ageism and how poorly researched our assumptions are.

    Try the quiz and see what you think.

    I expect to live actively to 100 and re-evaluate where to go from there.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    I've noticed that sometimes I'll read in the paper, "Jane Doe died Wednesday. She was 71." And my subconscious mind thinks "old" but then I realize, I'm only 4 years younger, and don't consider myself old. Interesting how that works.

    I keep waiting for ageism to have an impact on my work life but, darn it, it hasn't so far! . I have a lot of young clients, which surprises me because you typically "buy" services from people you connect with.

    Many years ago, I interviewed probably 1,000 women 55+ for a particular drug--I probably did at least 20 studies on this one drug, so I got to know the clients REALLY well. We got comfortable with each other to the point where we would play a game. I had the research respondent's age in front of me. After the interview, my colleagues (mostly other women) would guess how old she was, and then analyze what it was about them that seemed older or younger than our guesses. Sometimes it was dress, or haircut, or glasses, or attitude. I think they liked the game because it was a way to understand what might keep us from looking old when we got to their age.

    I feel lucky because I had fantastic elderly role models, so they have framed my view of how to age gracefully, but it's hard to escape ageism. Our culture has venerated the young. I think you have to run faster to stay in place as you get older, metaphorically speaking. Entropy really starts to take a toll unless you actively fight it.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Realistic I expect to live another 20 years. Not many make it to 100 and one serious illness in your later years can be impossible to bounce back from.

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    A while back, I attended a conference on aging with a supposed expert on that topic. I hadn't stopped to think about how often we older folk denigrate ourselves until she gave a lot of examples. Senior moments, etc.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    A while back, I attended a conference on aging with a supposed expert on that topic. I hadn't stopped to think about how often we older folk denigrate ourselves until she gave a lot of examples. Senior moments, etc.
    I try not to say "senior moment." I definitely don't say it to clients. Other things I don't do with clients: Tell them my age, or the age of my kids (My oldest is 41 today--yikes!). I never reference old technology or admit that I had a dial phone or a black-and-white TV. I never say "Back in the old days we..." I don't say, "You probably weren't even born when..." I try not to dress stodgily. I watch my posture. I never talk about my health or medications. I don't take medications, but if I did, I wouldn't take them in front of clients. I never talk in absolutes--I try to keep an open attitude about everything.

    I do that in particular with my clients, but I try to follow those "rules" in general.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    You are very wise, Catherine.

    I have to confess that I simply delete ageist jokes about 'seniors'. They really are ageist stereotypes of the extremes. I find them annoying and then take note of my reaction and recognize that I am giving them a power that they don't possess unless I enable it.
    I very rarely tell anyone my birthday or age and as an earlier thread indicated I don't think my age is anyone else's business.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago we took a cruise. I chose September because school would be back in session and there would be less kids running around. We still laugh about it to this day. It was the creepiest vacation ever.... we called it the ship of the living dead. It wasn't the passengers although most were of the senior variety. It was the attitude of the ships employees and what they assumed an "older" crowd would be interested in. I'm 62 and I'm not a fan of 50's music, a little goes a long way. The comedians were making prostate jokes. It was patronizing and creepy. Funny is funny and doesn't have to be age related. I work out to contemporary music on my ipod. My kid is freshly over 21 and I keep up with current events and culture. You don't need to talk loud and slow...Ö. We loved the ship, the food, the ports. Everything else was absurd.

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    I fight ageism by stating that Iím 57 and watching people not believe me and then laughing about it.

    But of course in nursing, thereís so many shortages that we hire people well into their 60s and even 70s at times. We just want people who are good nurses. Age is never a factor.

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    We always cruise when the kids are in school. We found the age range on the ship to be between 30-80.

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Age is such an odd thing. It seems to be all about perspective and attitude. I'm certainly not old, at 51. But I definitely look at life differently than I did when I was in my 20's. And I have different priorities and like to do some different things. For instance, several years ago SO and I went out to happy hour and dinner with a friend and a couple of his friends. After we finished dinner at about 8pm on a Friday, one of the friend's friends asked "where to now?!" Her night was just getting started. SO and I were like "time to go home". And she responded "What???" She just couldn't believe that someone would go home while the sun was still up on a Friday night. I don't consider our desire to go home at a reasonable hour as meaning that we're old. Just that I don't want to waste Saturday being exhausted and hung over. That doesn't make me old. Just experienced...

    One of my two best friends is 19 years older than me. He's been retired for 7 years and couldn't be happier or enjoying life more than he does now. He still travels a lot, sometimes at the drop of a hat if he hears about something interesting. (recently he went on a week-long road trip with only a few days planning because he happened to read that a couple of Union Pacific steam locomotive train engines were going to be making a trip too/from Cheyenne and he thought it'd be cool to witness. Afterwards he described it as the best roadtrip he'd ever taken.) He also does a fair amount of volunteer work, is constantly doing projects around his house, and regularly has friends visiting since he lives in LA, a popular tourist destination. His family has a history of long, productive lives, so hopefully he'll continue to have good health and be active for a long time. My goal is to keep living life as fully as he is as I get older.

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