Empowered Women Can Address Age Bias

Empowered Women 50+: Using Strategic Communication to Address Age Bias I was shocked the first time I realized that my age had become an unspoken factor in a hiring decision. I was only about fifty-two at the time. I was fit, active, and thought of myself as being relatively youthful. I had an excellent background and was undoubtedly qualified for the fulltime college teaching position I wanted. I was prepared for my interview and had anticipated doing well. Unfortunately for me, three out of the four people on the hiring committee were nearly young enough to be my children. I…

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Celebrating Life as an Empowered Older Woman

I couldn’t resist a good road trip this morning—rubber soles to the concrete – a glorious 4 ½ mile victory jog up a hill and down the highway. I’ve slowed down over the years, but I love the feeling of freedom I get when I can cover some ground and get outside in the fresh air. Often people wave when I’m out and about on one of my jogs. I wave back; I live in a very friendly community.  Today, as is occasionally the case, someone waved and give me a “thumbs up” when they saw me jogging down the…

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The ‘Senior’ Discount: Who Me?

Senior Discount By Cindy Eastman Just this week, I happily bounced out of a Sutherlin, Oregon  beauty shop with a fresh haircut.  I’ve learned that in these uncertain times, we can’t always count on a beauty shop being open.  The cost was far less than I was expecting, too.  In my imagination, which works very well, I assumed they had given me a “welcome back, customer” discount or even a “good-looking discount” since I haven’t been in for a while.  But about halfway down the street, I realized with great dismay, that they had given me the senior citizen discount!…

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Defining Ourselves in an Ageist Culture

As I subscribe to the PBS Encore.org notifications, I received information about an opportunity to submit a response to The American Portrait experience questions: (1) Does age or life stage define you? And (2) How are you using this time in your life to create a better future? I found that defining myself as an older person in an ageist culture was complicated.Age and Life Stage: Do They Define Us? My initial response to the first question was that neither age nor stage defines me. But the more I thought about it, the more nuanced my response became.  I am…

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Age Separation: Volunteering Can Bridge the Gap

For the first time in U.S. history, people sixty and over now outnumber those 18 and younger. Yet we still live in a youth-centric culture that reinforces the separation of people based on age. Separation in the Workplace, in Our Neighborhoods and in Schools  Research suggests that workers over fifty have more than a 50% chance of being pushed out of their jobs before they are ready to leave. Hiring language like “energetic” and “enthusiastic” signal that certain workplaces belong to the young. Neighborhoods tend to be separated by age with “six in 10 leaning either young or old.”  We…

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Racial Injustice: Protesting as an Older White Woman

During the past several days, I’ve seen images of young people all over the country protesting racial injustice and the brutal death of George Floyd. As an older female who remembers the 1960s, I’ve witnessed a lifetime of racism.  But until recently, I did not recognize the extent of my own “white privilege.” When a group of individuals organized a silent protest in my community, I knew that I needed to take a stand. Those with Hope and Those with Little I never thought much about enjoying certain privileges because I was born white. I grew up as a hard-scrabble,…

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Think Like a Tree, Age Strong, and Stand Firm

Deadwood: Attitudes toward Older Adults The World Health Organization reports that ageism – age discrimination and stereotyping is the most prevalent form of prejudice in the world today. It also reports that ageism has adverse effects on our health and well-being. In the Public Domain: COVID-19 has peeled back long-held cultural attitudes about aging and older people. Even the Lt. Governor of Texas suggested that old people or “grandparents” wouldn’t mind sacrificing themselves for the good of the economy.  Of course, we do know that older people in nursing homes and poorer people – particularly poorer people of color—have been…

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Seeking Advocates and Activists for Positive Aging

About four years ago, I read Ashton Applewhite’s This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. That’s about the time I became keenly aware of how ageism was affecting my life and the lives of others around me.Ageism or discriminatory or stereotypical treatment based on age has been linked to various health issues including depression, stress, and heart problems. It has also been associated with a shorter lifespan. In addition, it is estimated that ageist treatment costs Americans and an additional $63 billion per year in health costs. None of us should tolerate ageist treatment. (To read more about the effects…

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Elder Force: Our Power by The Numbers

We have a great deal of power, but we face a huge threat that collectively we must address! Those of us who are fifty or over represent over one-third of the population in the United States. In some communities, the percentage of those fifty and over is much higher.  When it comes to our influence at the polls, our portion of the pie is even greater. Overall, we are healthier and living longer than any generation before us. We also control the majority of household wealth in the United States. Collectively, we represent a very powerful demographic with a lot…

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Confidence Comes with Constant Learning

Because we live in a youth-centric culture, it is not surprising that we are constantly bombarded with negative messages about getting older. If we accept ageist messages about being less competent as we age, it can become like a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we haven’t done certain things for a long period of time, we may convince ourselves that we no longer have the ability to do what we could once do. When we cannot quickly learn something such as new technology, we may want to give up and believe that we are no longer capable of learning something new. Or,…

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