Should you keep quiet about your age, or wear it with pride? The importance we attach to age is relatively recent.
Age can be measured in more ways than one, say both sociologists and biologists. There is of course chronological age, but there is also cellular and social aging. The search for new definitions of old — and young!
Source: Age May Be Just A Number, But Which One?
It’s interesting to note that the threshold for old has changed dramatically over time. In the 17th and 18th centuries, at least in the West, 40 was the magic number. In the 19th century, that limit was pushed to 50. Nowadays, several studies show that people consider old age to begin at 69, on average. People under 25 believe it begins at 61, while those over 65 say it’s 77. And 8% of people say old begins at 80.
I would like to dedicate this post to my husband’s super awesome Nan. She loved the 4th of July and her family would have reunions over the 4th to celebrate her birthday and her favorite holiday. 2015 is the first year we celebrate the 4th without her, as she passed this past October. Unfortunately, my husband and I couldn’t be with them in New Jersey this year to celebrate, and we are really missing the family this holiday.
Nan opening birthday gifts at her 80th birthday tea party
With the tragic earthquake in Nepal earlier this week, I have been thinking a lot about the older adults in the area who are affected. My husband is currently doing his PhD on satellite imaging for disaster response and he probably is getting tired of me repeatedly redirecting conversations towards aging issues in his field 🙂
I came across several AARP articles on elderly and disaster relief after the Haiti earthquake in 2014 and thought it was timely to share it in light of the recent earthquakes. By the way, you can check out the latest earthquakes through this site.
When disaster strikes, older people face unique challenges that are often neglected, if not overlooked entirely. While many organizations are set up to meet the needs of children and younger adults, they are often ill-equipped to address the distinct needs of older people. Unfortunately, seniors are too often relegated to the sidelines, their plight undermined by their age, desensitizing others to their value along the spectrum of life.
Want to make a difference? Great! Check out AARP Foundation’s Emergency Fund page where you can directly donate to help the elderly in Nepal after the earthquake.
EMERGENCY: Help older victims of the Nepal earthquake – all gifts matched up to $225,000
On April 25, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal and neighboring countries with devastating force, killing thousands of people, injuring thousands more, and causing widespread destruction.
AARP Foundation has created a relief fund to help the victims of this disaster – especially the 600,000 people over age 60 who are expected to be affected. There is strong evidence that seniors experience disproportionate harm in the aftermath of natural disasters, and the impact for older people in Nepal is likely to be severe.
As I was writing my post on The Rise of Aging-Friendly Stores, I came across this little gem (article below).
When working on starting up a business a few months ago, my business partner and I had a great discussion with Aging2.0 co-founder Stephen Johnston. We discussed how marketing with terms like “silver, age-friendly, 50+, and elderly” are not good to use, mostly because people want to be thought of as consumers, not an age group. As he said, “senior doesn’t sell.”
But we were running into problems with how people would find our services (consulting with businesses to make their electronic products and services more age-friendly). We wanted to use principles of Universal Design, which, in a nutshell, is designing so that all people, regardless of age or disability could use a product or service. And, while the companies may have a better understanding of how Universal Design can be applied, we still weren’t sure how to let aging adults know that we were making sure products and services were specifically for them.
Well, anyway, this article is a great addition to the conversation on marketing towards aging adults. A guide of what NOT to do!
Report on life-course theory
I was asked to attend a WHO meeting on life-course theory as part of my internship with the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe. While I was there, I was working on the topics of eHealth and the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities (and trying to bridge the two). I was working in the Division of Non-communicable diseases and health promotion – Ageing, disability and long-term care. The team I was part of worked on the full spectrum of life, from before conception to aging, all with a focus on health promotion and reduction of non-communicable diseases.
This particular meeting was a brainstorming session on how the WHO is using the life-course perspective to address health promotion. I was particularly excited to attend because of my background in psychology and gerontology, where life-course theory has it’s roots.