Here’s a twist for you.
We are getting tired of promoting “successful aging” and no longer want to buy into the social construct that defines aging and being old as a problem to avoid.
We don’t know about you, but we are getting old… and loving it. But not because we are staying young, or not facing losses. We love it not despite of the challenges, but because of them. We love it because we are growing and changing. We love it because there is an opportunity to create yet another purposeful stage of life.
And that’s what twisting the plot is all about.
On this week’s podcast we talk with Dr. Tracey Gendron. Dr. Gendron is the Chair of the department of Gerontology at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of Ageism Unmasked: Exploring Age Bias and How to End It. She expounds the many reasons why ageism matters to all of us. She shares how the “biomedicalization” of aging has turned it into a disease, and something we need to fight.
But what if we could conceptualize aging in a different way? What if aging, and even death, were embraced as a shared experience, instead of an individual failing? What if becoming old, was a transcendent experience that we all look forward to?
Hard to imagine? Before you dismiss it, listen as Dr. Gendron proposes Elderhood as the antidote to the ageist roadblocks to becoming:
Anti-ageism through elderhood shifts our focus from who we were to who we are in the present and who we want to become in the future. Regardless of physical ability, cognitive function, socioeconomic class, level of dependency, or a myriad of personal identifiers, we are all still becoming.
Elderhood is proposed as a stage in life that brings maturity, purpose and wisdom. Gerontologist Lars Tornstom even suggests that aging can bring a developmental shift in perspective that is more cosmic and transcendent.
We want some of that.
Dr. Gendron asks us, “How do you feel about yourselves as aging beings?
Thankfully, she is helping us figure this out.