Friday, February 17, 2012
Combating Negative Age Stereotypes
Many of my posts are about ageism. But few of them have much to say about what we can do to help create more healthy communities through the reduction of ageist thinking. A major component of ageism is the negative stereotypes that many people believe. Below is some material that can help moderate ageist attitudes
1. The following positive slogans can be used to combat such negative stereotypes as:
Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.
Age is important only for wines and cheese.
Age is just a number.
Aged for smoothness and taste.
Aged to perfection.
Aging is living.
The best wines come in old bottles.
Better over the hill than under it.
Better 60 than pregnant.
Being young at heart is better than being young.
Elders have done it longer.
Fifty is nifty.
Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.
How dare you think I’d rather be younger?
2. If aging improves quality,
I’m approaching perfection.
I’m not over the hill. I’m on a roll.
I’m not a dirty old man;
I’m a sexy senior citizen.
It’s never too late to learn.
It’s not how old you are, but how you are old.
It’s no sin to be 70.
Old age is better than its alternative.
Old age is not for sissies.
Old age is the consummation of life.
Old wines and violins are the best.
Older can be bolder.
Over the hill and loving it.
Over the hill and oﬀ the pill.
People are like cars: their age is less important than how they’ve been
Retired: no boss, no worries, no work.
Retired: rejuvenated, retreated, relaxed, and remodeled.
3. Senior power.
Sixty and still sexy.
The best thing about being a parent is you may get to be a grandparent.
The ﬁrst 50 years are just a rehearsal.
The older the violin, the sweeter the music.
There may be snow on the roof, but there’s ﬁre in the hearth.
Things of quality have no fear of time.
When you’re over the hill, you pick up speed.
You can teach an old dog new tricks.
Youth is a gift of nature; age is a work of art.
4. Do You Know? Which is the best answer to the following questions?
1. Most patients with Alzheimer’s Disease
a. Act pretty much the same way.
b. Have confusion and impaired memory.
c. Wander during the day or at night.
d. Repeat the same question or action over and over.
2. Organic brain impairment:
a. Is easy to distinguish from functional mental illness.
b. Is diﬃcult to distinguish from functional mental illness.
c. Tends to be similar to functional mental illness.
d. Can be reversed with proper therapy.
3. When talking to an older adult, it is best to
a. Avoid looking directly at the patient.
b. Glance at the patient occasionally.
c. Ignore the patient’s reactions.
d. Look directly at the patient.
1. b. The only thing that all patients with Alzheimer’s Disease have in
common is confusion and impaired memory.
2.b. The symptoms of organic brain impairment are diﬃcult to distinguish
from those of functional mental illness such as aﬀective or anxiety disorders.
3.d. When talking to an older patient, it is best of look directly at the patient,
both to establish eye contact and to see if the patient is paying attention to you.
*Adapted from The Facts on Aging Quiz, 2nd Ed. by Erdman Palmore, NY:
EDITORIAL : *Adapted from Palmore, Branch, & Harris (eds.), THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AGEISM. NY: Haworth, 2005. the Center Report 7 Winter 2012
This material was first published by The Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development and the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center present the Center Report . For more information go to: (www.geri.duke.edu )