Positive Attitudes About Aging
Did you apply one of last week's conversation starter tips yet?
by Successful Aging in Action! | 2.19.20
By Robin Marantz Henig
The first time someone offered me a seat on the subway, I reflexively declined, and then stewed about it all the way home. Sheesh, I thought, do I really look like an old lady in need of assistance? When I got off the train, I swear my knees felt a bit creaky as I clomped up the subway steps.
When we’re busy doing things we love — which for me these days means playing with my two young granddaughters — we don’t think about how old we are or the state of our knees. But then something pulls us up short, like a polite young man offering his seat, or catching a view of a selfie from an unflattering angle, and suddenly we’re walking more slowly, feeling just a little worse about life in general.
The way these internalized attitudes about aging affect us physically is a focus within a growing field in social psychology known as mind-body studies. In the next few months, the World Health Organization is expected to publish the results of a global investigation of ageism — discrimination toward the aged, akin to racism and sexism — that will address how to fight the prejudice. The report will also outline the myriad ways that ageist attitudes can affect the health and well-being of older people.
Psychologist Becca Levy is a contributor to the forthcoming WHO report and has spent her career linking negative aging attitudes to such measures as walking speed in older people, a greater likelihood of developing the brain changes of Alzheimer’s disease and even a reduction in life span.
CLICK HERE to read the complete article in Science News.
CLICK HERE to listen to "I See You" from award-winning songwriters Grant Maloy Smith and Mike Greenly.
CLICK HERE to read Ageism, the Last Frontier and last week's conversation starter tips
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