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4 Fabulous Examples of Elders Defying Ageism (Video)

We’ve all seen the headlines—“5 Foods for Fighting Wrinkles,” or, “10 Tips for Keeping Grey Hair at Bay.” And, chances are, most of us have clicked on them too; lured in by the promise of some new anti-aging secret.

In our youth-obsessed society, where being old is viewed as an inevitable curse that will eventually strike all of us at some point, ageism is rampant. Perhaps this is the driving force behind our never-ending search for a miracle “cure” that will stave off the effects of getting older.

But is slopping cream that costs $100 an ounce on our hands, and injecting chemicals into our laugh lines really the best way to approach the aging process? Wouldn’t we all be better off learning to accept and appreciate the gifts brought on by the advancing years instead of obsessing about the issues of aging?

Where do prejudices against old age come from?

Princeton University researchers, Susan Fiske and Michael North recently published a scientific paper aimed at answering that very question.

In their article, they outline three main issues that underpin prejudice against aging adults: consumption, succession and identity.

Consumption is the notion that elderly adults should not be consuming vast quantities of scarce resources, such as health care.

Succession describes the philosophy that elders need to step aside from desirable jobs and social positions, in order to allow younger individuals to step into those roles.

Identity says that older people should avoid acting younger than they truly are.

People engage in acts of ageism by praising elders who adhere to these society-prescribed rules, and by punishing those who violate them.

The benefits of going against the ageist grain

When asked what the secret to successful aging is, the spryest seniors often reply with some variation of the idea that a person is really only as young as they feel.

This advice puts elders in somewhat of a bind. After all, how is an aging adult supposed to feel young when society doesn’t want them to act young?

It seems as though the most energetic elders respond to this conundrum by simply thumbing their noses at the notion that one must always act one’s true age. These rebellious men and women have decided that they will act as young as they want to—regardless of what the cultural norms dictate.

Here are 4 fabulous examples of elders who are determined to stay young-at-heart:

Jimmy Kimmel wants to know: “What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?” (See video above)

 

Everyone loves a good lip-synch montage…

Because it’s nearly impossible to hate a show hosted by Betty White…

Proof that magical things can happen when seniors stay plugged in to pop culture…

Related
6 Myths About Aging and Sleep
Why Old People Refuse Help
When Do You Become a Caregiver?

Read more: Aging, General Health, Health, Healthy Aging, Inspiration, Spirit, Videos, Videos, ,

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

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AgingCare.com

AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

144 comments

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9:26AM PST on Jan 18, 2015

Thanks.

2:28AM PST on Jan 18, 2015

It's all about attitude

5:38PM PST on Jan 17, 2015

Thanks for sharing these videos.

5:03PM PST on Jan 17, 2015

This is a great article by the way! When I am old I am not going to stop doing a single thing I enjoy, or dress or act any differently to I do now!

4:45PM PST on Jan 17, 2015

Ageism is horrible and it's disgraceful that it still happens in our society- Depictions on TV shows and other media that demean older people and propogate stereotypes; demeaning humour about older people, some of which is quite dehumanising; then there's the widespread abuse and neglect of older people in care homes which has been discovered sometimes after years! I hope when I reach old age I will be able to join a protest group to fight against all these things!

4:28PM PST on Jan 17, 2015

Thanks.

3:38PM PST on Jan 17, 2015

thank you

3:35PM PST on Jan 17, 2015

You go!

Having curiosity and a zest for life keeps you young, I think.

3:33PM PST on Jan 17, 2015

Ty

3:28PM PST on Jan 17, 2015

Well, I loveeeeeeeeeeee this, thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Very informative! I wish I knew someone who could benefit from it.

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