Tackling “Aging Well” at the Institute for the Future’s Health Horizons Conference

I’m just back from a conference hosted by this 30-year-old Palo Alto think tank, the theme of which was “Living Longer/Aging Well.” Most of the attendees were from healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, and I wasn’t sure how hospitable they’d be to my message about the medicalization of old age. In cultures with meaningful social and economic roles for older people, physical health is just one aspect of aging, but in ours, sickness takes center stage. And as the population ages the medical-industrial complex will depend more than ever on the old for its profits.

using kids books to tackle ageism

I’m not an Elmer’s-glue-and-glitter grandmother, but I’ll read to my grandchildren till my voice gives out. Lindsey McDivitt knows there are lots of people out there like me, and that children’s books are a great way to bridge generations and combat ageism in the process. We met online and then had the pleasure of meeting in person in Ann Arbor when I was on the Second Wind Tour last week.

The Second Wind Tour’s #EndAgeism Campaign kicks off today!

A week from today I’ll be joining Bill Thomas & team onstage in Columbus for the Midwest swing of his Second Wind Tour as its anti-ageism Agitator in Chief. So far the tour—a five-hour “nonfiction theater” combination of words, film and music—has centered around personal growth and reimagining aging, but from this point out they’re taking advantage of having me on the bus to focus on ageism. 

 

Why not be a old lady?

One of the nice “keep up the good work” responses to my mass email last week came from my friend Robin. Her note went on to say that, “Even my mom, who just died at 95, wasn't an ‘old lady.’ Up until the last few days she really fought like a tiger . . . until her body just gave out.  She simply died of old age.” She had lived with debilitating arthritis that set in in her late 40s, and “found a lot of meaning knitting baby items endlessly for the City of Hope and other charities.” Female, in her ninth decade, yet not an old lady?

Guest Post: A Call for Radical Aging

 

Alice Fisher, M.S., M.S.W. is a Boomer who works in the office of NYS Senator Liz Krueger, where she developed and oversees “Senator Liz Krueger’s Roundtable for Boomers & Seniors” and counsels the senator’s senior constituents on issues of housing, healthcare, quality of life, and end of life.  A long time social justice advocate, Alice is developing anti-ageism programs and working with a diverse grass roots groups in New York City to create awareness of the ageism that permeates our culture.

 

posts are up on the Silver Century Foundation website

 

I'm delighted to be joining Margaret Morganroth Gullette, among other writers, on the website of the Silver Century Foundation, which has an excellent mandate. The foundation "challenges entrenched and harmful stereotypes, encourages dialogue between generations, advocates planning for the second half of life, and raises awareness to educate and inspire everyone to live long, healthy, empowered lives."

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