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Is Ageism the Last Prejudice?


Is ageism the last acceptable prejudice? Is there a best before date for us all, when we just kind of seize up and stop changing? Are we past it? It’s easy to say, “I’m too old to change…” isn’t it? It’s easy to feel too set in your ways. Not only do we cast internal judgements as we age, the outside world can cast a cruel eye on aging too. It’s no coincidence that the beauty industry has profited from our attitude towards aging. It’s a multi billion dollar beast, and now with Zoom calls making us want to look our ‘best’, at least from the shoulders up, plastic surgery and injectables are enjoying the boom times of Zoom times.


But is it true that we’re too old or too young to do anything (the former) or know anything (the latter)? Would that mean we’re never the ‘right age’ then- seems a bit absurd. What does age have to do with anything? Isn’t it just a number? In Ashton Applewhite’s new book, “This Chair Rocks”, she ‘traces her journey from apprehensive boomer to pro-aging radical.” What concerned her was the preconceived notion that aging meant less freedom, less mobility, a closing in on the four walls of adventure. However, what she discovers is that aging, and our collective attitude towards it, needs a reboot. It’s all too easy to say, “I’m too old to change….” and stop there. It’s easy to feel too set in your ways to change, because let’s face it, change is difficult and scary. We like routine, we like sameness, it creates stability and control. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, right? Actually, you can. Recent developments in the world of neuro plasticity, demonstrate that the brain can rewire itself, and our attitude, or our conscious reticence may have more to do with self limitations than the actual makeup of the brain. In fact, challenging the brain with new tasks rewires the neural pathways, interrupting paths that no longer serve us, opening up new ones that do. So perhaps our fixed mindset is habitual stubbornness, not mental decline with age. We can’t change because we don’t want to. Rather like the toddler who doesn’t want our help, but wants to do it her way, and her way alone, thank you very much (only much louder and screechier)…. Maybe a concession is order. Maybe we can’t and indeed aren’t meant to do everything on our own.

This is where Discerning Seniors comes in. Rather than seeing aging as a limitation, we see it as an opportunity to make connections to services that enable you to get around better, live at home more comfortably, and provide access the kind of care you need, to live the life you want. Accepting help is rather liberating. Rather than worry about what you can’t do, we help open up a whole world of more opportunity. Discerning Seniors does the heavy lifting, the delegating, the connecting, so that your “to do” list becomes more manageable, putting “Have Fun” to the top.


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