Perceptions about Aging: Our Choices

  Research is very clear about the importance of embracing a positive attitude towards aging. With a positive mental attitude, we are more likely to live longer, healthier lives. A recent report even suggested that we are less likely to experience memory loss when maintaining a positive attitude.  However, how others perceive us as we age can affect how we see ourselves. At the same time, how we choose to see and present ourselves as we age also influences how others perceive us. Social Perceptions about Aging Over 100 years ago, sociologist Charles Cooley introduced his Looking Glass Self Theory.…

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S.A.G.E. – Bridging the Gap Between Generations

  Written by Beryl Katz, the following article describes a nonprofit program the author was instrumental in helping develop that helps connect older adults with school-aged children. This article has been lightly edited for brevity and requirements for our site.  Twenty-one years ago, as a parent at a school board meeting, I saw two distinct groups of people: parents who wanted the best education for their children and older adults who did not want higher taxes. As a  mother, a former English teacher, and taxpayer, I sat there an idea began forming in my mind. Why not bring in older community members as volunteers making them…

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A Smile and the Positive Influence of Elders

While walking around our local pond this morning, I passed an older couple near my age walking their dog. As I was passing (from a COVID-safe distance), the man said, “I appreciate your PMA!” I asked the man (whose name I later learned was Greg) what he meant by PMA. He stopped and told me it referred to a positive mental attitude. He’d observed that I was smiling. As an elder woman, I have learned that smiling is a simple, yet powerful act that frequently opens opportunities to connect with people. However, I don’t intentionally practice having a positive mental…

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