There’s No Excusing Ageism

When the last parent died in 2017, I visualized their canoes heading over an immense waterfall. My partner’s and my canoes fell next in line. Gulp. Yet this scenario sure beats the alternative: outliving the younger people we love. Is it this inexorable succession that gives purchase to the notion

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Here’s to an Intersectional New Year

A healthy year too, obviously, and as happy as we can make it. But what 2020 brought home for me was that being anti-ageist means supporting every movement for equal rights. It’s a big ask, but we cannot dismantle ageism without dismantling ableism, and racism, and sexism and all the rest, because

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My New Talk is Out in the World

My new talk, “Still Kicking – Confronting Ageism and Ableism in the Pandemic’s Wake,” debuted earlier this week at n4a, the national conference of Area Agencies on Aging—to rave reviews, yay! Here’s a look at some of the ground it covers: Remember the early messaging about the virus? “Don’t worry,

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We’re All Old People in Training Whether We Know it Yet or Not

Becoming an Old Person in Training allows us to choose purpose and intent over dread and denial and connects us empathically with our future selves, says author and activist Ashton Applewhite. This excerpt from my book ran on TED’s “Ideas” page under the title Rather than identifying as old, young or middle-aged, be

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Why it’s just fine to fail at “successful aging”

This project began 11 years ago as a project about people over 80 who work. Upbeat! Inspirational! Safe! I didn’t realize it at the time, but the project epitomized an approach that has dominated gerontology since the 1980s: “successful aging”— also known as “active,” “healthy,” or “productive” aging. For most

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The pandemic isn’t making ageism worse. It’s exposing it—and that’s a good thing.

Media coverage of anything aging-related has long been characterized by alarmist hand-wringing, the most egregious example being the gray tsunami metaphor. Coverage of the pandemic is no exception, given that some three quarters of COVID19-related deaths are of people over age 65, many occurring in nursing homes where the virus has run largely unchecked.

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6 Reasons to Watch Crip Camp

1. You’re stuck inside and it’s a feelgood documentary. Crip Camp is about an unintentionally visionary “summer camp for the handicapped run by hippies,” as the film’s co-director (and former camper) Jim LeBrecht explains early on.  A sound designer with spina bifida, Lebrecht shot much of the film’s early footage with a camera

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How is Healthcare in America Failing Older People – and why?

Treating a patient slowed by Parkinson’s, geriatrician Louise Aronson sings a chorus of “Happy Birthday” in her head to make sure they have enough time to respond. I’d love a doctor this humane as I head into old age, not to mention this expert. But she lives across the country

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Ok, people

I’m barely back from a tour of Australia sponsored by EveryAGE Counts, their terrific national anti-ageism campaign. It was fascinating to look from another continent at how views on age and age bias are changing around the world. While I was in Oz, the #OKBoomer meme broke the internet—ageland’s little

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Good Words for the Observant — and for Everyone Else

The blurb that my friend and ally, Sister Imelda, sent to the U.S. Ursuline nuns at the request of one of their Sisters in elected leadership. __________ THIS CHAIR ROCKS:  A MANIFESTO AGAINST AGEISM We’ve all been there: Shocked, unhappy at the growing expanse of gray hair — or maybe

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