Elder Wise: Sharing Wisdom in New Ways

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin explains in his book, Successful Aging, that as we get older, it is common to lose some of our sharpness. We may get distracted more easily and can’t recall things as quickly as we once could. But at the same time, Levitin says we gain wisdom with age due to our experiences, our ability to recognize patterns, the connections we can make, and the analogies we can use. Because we may think a bit differently, it is not that hard to understand why younger adults might consider older adults as being “out of touch” or no longer…

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COVID-19: Communicating Safety Expectations

I live in a rural county with a little over 111,000 people. Just over 26% of our population is over sixty-five. I’m one of those older county residents.  I know that regardless of how healthy I am, my age puts me at greater risk for serious COVID complications. My husband, who has some underlying health issues, is at an even greater risk. I try to be very careful when I am around other people. I wear a mask when shopping, and I social distance when I interact with other people. I do this not only for my benefit and the…

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Using Our Experience and Communication Skills to Counter Ageism

I studied German for a couple of years while in college. I don’t remember much about the language, but I do remember how my professor used her experience and communication to counter ageism. My professor had plain grey hair and a thick accent. She often wore a grey cardigan sweater and heavy, black shoes. At the time, I saw her as just another old person who knew German because she grew up speaking the language. Using Experience to Add Perspective Nonetheless, because my professor treated all of her students with respect, most all of us felt free to ask questions.…

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Closing the Generation Gap Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

As a professional in my thirties, I didn't want someone my mother's age tagging along with me. Yet that was exactly what happened. It was also one of the best things that happened at the time. Before establishing a career in higher education, I spent a few years in the insurance industry as a senior marketing consultant. My responsibilities involved serving and retaining larger business accounts. At the time, I had a lot of confidence in myself. I believed I could pick up new information quickly. I could also communicate complex information in a way others could understand—certainly a plus…

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