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Sunday, April 27, 2014

About Senior's Moments

About Ageism and Senior’s Moments[1]

           This post is explores the research question about the meaning of Senior’s Moment.  How was it defined? Well, a number of themes immerged, “… memory problems, cognitive impairment/disease, functional incompetence related to age, focused on older adults and undefined.”   The second research question examined the phrase within the context of newspaper articles.   Most of the senior’s moments referred to memory problems ranging from minor ones to major ones including Alzheimer’s disease.
         There were articles incorporating concessions frequently happening during public events. For example:    “ I’m having a senior’s moment’, Amy said.  She’s past 50, slim and stunningly attractive – a hard woman not to like.   She was speaking to a community meeting when she lost her train of thought. She stood for a moment blushing flushing fetchingly. “Pardon me, she repeated, “I just had a senior’s moment.”  The audience laughed understandingly and she went on with her talk.
         By using a phrase as an insult, incidents focus on the negative, highlighting the derogatory nature of age-based memory loss and confusion.  One columnist accused Martha Stewart of “having a senior moment” when she denied that anyone else had responsibility for her decision to do a well-publicized photo shoot.
         One article puts it, a senior’s moment is  “funny when it happens to someone else, not so funny when it happens to you.”  Another article suggests that the young should be more fearful: “ if you are in your 60s or 70s, Senior’s moments are a strain on both and [your family].  This article goes on to suggest that after 80, one can be as confused and forgetful as you like because it is socially acceptable. This article reinforces the idea that confusion and mental decline are an inevitable part of the aging process, and that after a certain age you should just give into it.
         Finally it is stated that: “ …these fears and beliefs may have significant impact on older adult’s themselves.  Some adults may adopt these stereotypes as true, thus self-stereotyping or adopting the negative characteristics expected of older adults.”

[1] This material was gathered from the Journal of Aging Studies(18)2004 132-142. Specificity dealing with  Senior’s Moments: The acceptability of an Ageist phrase.    By J.L. Bonneston and Elizabeth Bonnesen.   The research shows us that the term Seniors Moment is an Ageist Attribution.

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