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What does it mean to be old?

How old are you? You’re how old? What do these questions means to you? Do they make you feel uncomfortable? We’ve come to a time when age no longer defines us or, more importantly, limits us. We live longer, healthier lives, and practise a more holistic approach to healthcare. Older means more life experience which lends us a knowledge of reflection, an ability to slow down, draw back and see the big picture. A distinct advantage in this hyperactive digital world. In fact, in a recent New York Times article, neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin argues that with age our memory may slow simply because we have more files in our mental hard drive. He also asserts that what we say to each other when we forget something differs as we age: ‘I’ve got Alzheimer’s!’ says the older chap; ‘I’ve got too much on the go!’ says the younger gal.

What might be a better question to ask is: what is YOUR story?

At Discerning Seniors we want to tell that story.

We believe we need to see greater public reflection of our older community, and our new monthly newsletter Connector will bridge that gap. There was a time when older people occupied very little space in our media and society, almost invisible. But this isn't the case anymore. We’ve come out to show ourselves off, and big business and online media is taking notice. And why not? Take Eileen Smith, a lady d’un certain âge (don’t you just love French appreciation of aging?) from Dublin Ireland, who not only finds online connection through her fun and vibrant Instagram account (over 50,000 followers!) but also has a contract with car brand Skoda Ireland to promote all-age visibility, as both drivers of the success of the brand, and drivers of the product. In fact, Skoda Ireland has a specific policy to hire retirees, whose life experience brings a commonsense approach to sales which jaded consumers welcome. Instead of a hard sell in the showroom, how about a chat and see what your lifestyle needs are and what car might suit you best? Imagine if more of us older folks directly affected the sales and marketing of brands, being part of the conversation? Why not? As their motto reads: Simply Older, Still Clever, Skoda Ireland recognizes that an older salesperson brings experience and patience to the showroom.

We’ve come a long way from the vision of the elderly, bedridden grandparents all tucked into one bed à la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! And about time. What Discerning Seniors and people like Eileen Smith and Skoda Ireland want to do is reflect the vibrancy of our older citizens. We will help connect you to your community, to help us all get the best out of each other, to champion us on our journeys in a supportive and exciting environment. It’s not always easy to get together with families, who themselves are busy with their own demands of work and young kids, or may live far away. It’s not always desirable either. We all like our freedom. But it’s nice to have a way to feel part of something, rather than apart from. That’s where we hope to provide the map to new journeys, which may seem intimidating at first, but in the company of a like-minded supportive group, we can all belong and enjoy the adventure together.

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