Successful aging role models can inspire

Successful aging role models can inspire

Ageist thinking has been a staple of American culture for hundreds of years.

How many times have we heard these sentiments being touted as facts? Being old is a bad thing; older adults aren’t fit for work; older adults need protecting; older people are slow and stuck in the past; and older people have less value than younger people.

With increases in life expectancy, it is an important time to move beyond ageist thinking. According to 2021 data, more than 55.8 million adults ages 65 and older live in the U.S., accounting for about 16.8% of the nation's population.

By 2040, that proportion is projected to grow to 22%.

To move us in the right direction, identifying role models of successful aging may encourage us to have more positive views on aging and inspire us as we grow older.

A train trip may create lasting memories

A train trip may create lasting memories

Many years ago, when my husband Peter and I lived in New Jersey, he took the train to Manhattan for work.

It was far from a glamorous experience.

Cutting it close each day, (because he wanted to squeeze out every minute of sleep in the mornings) he jockeyed for a parking spot in the very full lot and often ran to make his train.

Once boarded, he would pass row after row in search of an empty seat. Laptops didn’t exist at the time, but he often read business briefs for the hour it took for his train to arrive at the station. From there he walked 15 blocks to his office. He’d wear sneakers to work because of the long walk and change into his dress shoes upon arrival.