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Wednesday, November 30, 2011


        Have any of you ever experienced the following treatment? In the article, cited below, the authors describe a way of talking described as “elderspeak.”  It refers to “ …a specialized speech register resembling baby talk in addressing older adults.” This form of speech uses few clauses, shorter phrases, more filler phrases (e.g., “like,” “you know”), words with fewer syllables, slower speech, and longer pauses.  Elderspeak also includes the use of words like “dearie”, “cutie” and “sweetie.”
         Stereotyping creates the conditions for elderspeack.  The speaker assumes that the older person has low mental ability or some other impairment. Elderspeak has a negative effect on the older person; it creates low self-esteem, it reduces a person’s ability to communicate effectively, it decreases the quality of interaction, and it reduces the older person’s sense of control.   Now the question is, what can we do about it? I would like you to respond to this information so we can discuss it further.   


[i]  Thorton, R. & Light L.L. (2006).  “Language & Comprehension and Production in             Normal Aging , Handbook of the Psychology of Aging, 6th ed.  IN Aging and             Society: A Canadian Perspective, 6th Ed. P.6

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ageist Humour

 This material was discovered and printed by one of the most outstanding gerontologists, Dr. Erdman Palmore[i]

·      You’ve reached old age when all you exercise is caution

·      On the front: Nobody should call you an old codger
·      Inside: A sexy old codger would be more accurate

·      There’s a similarity between babies and old men—both fall asleep over there bottles

·      We don’t count an man’s years until he has nothing else to count

·      An old maid is a woman who has missed the opportunity for getting divorced.

·      Old lady to a friend:  “ I had a lot of trouble last night. A man kept banging on my door.
·      Friend:  “Why didn’t you open it?”
·      Answer: “What and let him out?”

·      Time may be a great healer, but he certainly is no beauty specialist

·      One man asks another, “What did she have done?”         Answer: “I don’t know but whatever it was, I sure was wrinkled.

·      A man is only as old as the woman he feels.

·      Birthday card front:  The trouble with being our age, by the time our ship comes in…..    Inside: our piers are collapsed.

·      The secret of living to be a 100 becomes less attractive as you get older

·      At a certain age some people’s minds close up:  they live on an old intellectual fat.

·      An old man approached his doctor and said: “I’m slowly going nuts over women, I there any way I can speed it up?

·      A gerontologist was lecturing about aging processes:  “There are three signs of aging:  First there is memory…(pause)…and I’ve forgotten the other two.

·      Old age is an incurable disease

·      Old man: “Why don’t you tell me when you’re having an orgasm?                                                                                  Wife: “ I would but you’re never there.”




[i] Jokes take from Palmore E.B. (1990). Ageism positive and negative  Springer Publishing Company, New York, NY.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Satisfaction with Later LIfe

         I look outside as winter approaches and think about how satisfied I am with life.  I’m seventy-two with quite a bit to do. I fired up the computer and came across a tool that may be useful to you in examining you life satisfaction.[i]   I think it might be useful to you.
         Below are five statements that you may agree or disagree with. Using the 1-7 scale below, indicate your agreement with each item by connecting the appropriate number for each statement. It will be valuable to you if you are open and honest with your responding. After all you will be the only person who see’s the results.
·      7 – Strongly agree
·      6 – Agree
·      5 – Slightly Agree
·      4 – Neither Agree nor disagree
·      3 – Slightly disagree
·      2 – Disagree
·      1 -  Strongly disagree

Then consider what results indicate and see if you agree
·      31 – 35  Extremely satisfied
·      26 – 30  Satisfied
·      21 – 28  Slightly satisfied
·      20          Neutral
·      15 – 19  Slightly satisfied
·      10 – 14  Dissatisfied
·       5 -   9    Extremely dissatisfied

Time marches on.

[i]  J. Corrigan (2000). Satisfaction with life scale, The Center for outcome measurement in Brain Injury, (accessed June, 18,2011)   *Note: This citation is for the COMBI web material. Dr. Corrigan is not the scale author for the SWLS

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Journey into a Leisure World

         Last August 31st I formally retired from Kwantlen Polytech University.  My life has taken a different turn. Even though I was only teaching two courses per term over the last several years I have, during the past two months, begun to explore the “real” meaning of leisure activities’
         If you look back over my blog entries you will see one of my new activities, acrylic painting. Recently I have been struggling with painting a picture of my mother, who’s now 95, in her earlier years.
What a task; maybe I need to stick with landscape pictures. In any case another of my “leisure” activities is creating entries onto my blogspot.
         Last Monday night I had the honor of stepping in for the person who is currently teaching the ageing class. What a joy it was to return to the classroom! It was leisure for sure, In any case, I d decided to look around in my personal library to see what I could find and I found some material in the book cited at the bottom of this post,[i]
         There is a small section in the book that focuses on Retirement Leisure.  The author asserts, “Individuals select leisure activities to fit their personal identity (how they define themselves) and their social identity (how they believe they are defined by others)
         When I was teaching I saw myself as a type of “independent contractor.” There are rules but there is a lot of freedom in decision-making. I decided what I would say and the structure of the evening, which included student group presentations.
         But now back to the bigger picture, my teaching is concentrated on the creation of blog entries. I now have 148 posts.
         “There is no universally accepted definition of leisure, partly because experiences and meanings are extremely personal and diverse.”    The author provides 18 elements that help define leisure. Take a look at them and decide which ones work best for you.
·      A social context for establishing and developing primary social relationships.
·      A state of mind, attitude or being
·      Non-work
·      Freedom of choice in selecting activities
·      Free or discretionary time
·      Relaxation and diversion from work and personal maintenance activities.
·      Playfulness or play
·      Voluntary activity
·      Expressive activities, in which there is internal satisfaction and an emphasis on the process rather than on the end result or product.
·      Instrumental activities, which offer external rewards and which have an end product or outcome as a goal.
·      Spontaneity
·      Utilitarian and meaningful activities.
·      Active and passive activities
·      Social (group) or individual (solitary) activities
·      Expensive or inexpensive activities
·      Intellectual (that is cognitive), social, or physical activities
·      Intrinsic or extrinsic rewards
·      Creativity
·      High culture or mass culture

         I must stop here because I need to take a shower and get ready from my visit to local Chamber of Commerce dinner as a representative of the Langley Seniors Centre Board.

[i] B.D. McPherson,(2004). Aging as a Social Process: Canadian Perspectives, Oxford             University Press

Friday, November 11, 2011

Content of Age-Based Stereotypes(1)

Clusters of age based stereotypes reflect the ageist attitudes, (some
positive) such as the notion that older aged adults are less competent
the younger adults or on the other hand, wiser. Studies also suggest
the belief that as we age, we are less independent and strong. We are
also seen as less attractive. Hence we often see commercials promising
that the item for sale will help reduce wrinkles. “ Consider the number of
terms that are used for older adults that reflect unattractiveness, such as
crone, goat, hag, witch, withered, and wrinkled (Palmore, 1990)
For those of you who are interested in ageism the items are
on Table 9.3, p. 376, in the book listed below. There are five factors
considered characteristics of aging

Health/Physical Appearance
Get upset easily
Have health problems
Are set in their ways
Talk to themselves
Never fully recover from illness
Not optimistic
Walk slowly
Physically inactive
Think about the good old days
Active outside home
Talks slowly
Gives good advice
Has lots of friends
Hard of hearing
Interesting to meet
Good companion
Complains  a lot
Has hobbies

 i Whitney,B.E.& Kite M.E. (2006). The Psychology of Prejudice and
Descrimination, Thomson, Wadsworth, For more go to

Monday, November 7, 2011

An Apology

Over the past year I have posted over 80 times and in many instances you have made a comment which I was unable to respond to.  I think I have it fixed, your comment will show up on my email and I will check it regularly.  I am very interested in your ideas.