Aging: Something To Look Forward To – The Positive Phases of Engagement in Later Life – Family
In 2017, for the first time in recorded history, the number of individuals on this planet who are 65 years or older is predicted to surpass the number of individuals less than 5 years old.” 1 Like it or not, if you are reading this article you are part of an aging generation. Aging and the associated wrinkles, gray hair and physical decline is viewed by society as negative. None of us want or hope to be “that old person”, yet many of us will be that person, one day.
Those of us who work in the aging and healthcare industry are somewhat insulated, accepting aging as part of life, because most of our workday is spent in the company of older adults. No matter how old they are, we are younger; even if only by a few years. Removed from the protected environment of the workplace, a comment is made about age, and we are shocked to experience the same discrimination that our older clients experience on a daily basis.
Let’s put this into perspective. If you have little experience with aging, how many times are you at the grocery store and see an older adult struggling to walk or fumbling for change at the cash register? Your first thought, rather than being one of recognition that you will eventually be that age, is one of impatience. You might then have an unkind thought about the mental faculties, appearance or dress or the older adult. The beauty of today is that we have the opportunity to change our tomorrow. Many older adults live fulfilling and fascinating lives; however this is not always the common vision.
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