Posted on Mar 29, 2018 in Ageism
Have you ever received a compliment but had mixed feelings about the meaning or message behind it. No one experiences this more than older adults as they are always bombarded with remarks about their age and youthful appearance as if looking older is the worst conceivable thing that can ever happen (especially if you’re a woman)! Read about Modern Day Ageism and see if you can relate to the undercurrent of “less than” and “unequal” running throughout the following statement from Ageismhurts.org
“Even a basic interaction with an older adult, wherein the person’s age is revealed, can trigger what seems to be an innocuous response: “Really? You don’t look seventy-eight!” As though first there is a way one must look at seventy-eight and second that it is a compliment not to appear so. What does a seventy-eight year old look like, and is it any better or worse than looking five or thirty-five? These compliments communicate affirmation of healthfulness while insinuating derision of age. By stating something to the effect of “That’s great you don’t look your age!” we are reaffirming to the recipient and ourselves that the last thing any of us wants to appear is… old.”
Older age is characterized by high diversity and senior living communities. Some 80-year-olds are still talking 5-mile hikes and running marathons, while others need assistance with daily activities such as meal preparation and getting dressed. Misconceptions about aging are as common as they are skewed, generalized, and exaggerated.
In fact, aging is less about physical age and more to do with your emotional health and outlook. Consider this quote from a well-known actor, Sandra Bullock:
“I was putting [my son Louis] to bed and told him that even when I’m old and gray and more wrinkly than I am now, I’ll still love him and want to tuck him in. And he asked me why I have wrinkles, and I said, ‘Well, I hope some of them are from laughing so much.’’
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