This year, the theme of Older American’s Month – President Carter changed the name in 1980 – is Unleashing the Power of Age, which seems eminently appropriate given the numbers and longevity of today’s senior population. More seniors are still working or looking for jobs, engaged in athletic activities, volunteering in their communities, retooling skills, following artistic pursuits, aging in place, and caring for family members. With the advent of antibiotics, healthy lifestyles, greater access to health care and community supports, seniors remain in their homes, a visible part of the social spectrum.
Yet, one barrier remains inhibiting seniors from fully experiencing their power. That barrier is ageism – the ingrained belief that seniors are less capable, less “with it,” less resilient than their younger peers. Regrettably, many seniors believe that about themselves. Ageism undermines the reality of senior accomplishments and abilities. We fail to acknowledge that if someone has lived a long productive life, he or she probably has been doing something right and experience worth sharing.
|Unleash the Power of Age|
Ageism fails to acknowledge that seniors are quite adaptable, having lived through multiple technological and social changes in their lifetimes. Many feel perfectly at home with computers, iPads, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and whatever other new media you can think of. They were born into a century of unleashed technological power and they adapted to it. Our misplaced assumptions about older people prevents us and them from realizing their full potential.
Consider this: aging begins the day we are born. At every age, we unleash the power of age.
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