Who’s going to create a better narrative of old age in America?

Most Americans aren’t optimistic about getting older, and think the source of the problem is aging itself. So do most policy wonks, framing population aging as a set of choices about how to care for an avalanche of “frail and needy elderly.” MIT’s Joseph F. Coughlin and I don’t share

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Getting More Colorful with Age

I often say, “I want to get more colorful with age.” What do I mean by that? Just as the leaves change in the Fall and get more colorful over time, I want to get more colorful as I age, and to blend with others to create more beauty than

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You Have a Choice

The cat’s out of the bag and there’s no going back. Your grandmother’s belief that how she ages was primarily determined by genes and a little bit of luck, well, that belief has gone the way of the eight-track player. According to the MacArthur Foundation’s 10-year study on aging, approximately

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Less Ageism = Less Alzheimer’s. It’s That Clear

What affliction do Americans fear most? Alzheimer’s disease. I’m one of them, unless so many bones give out that I have to be carried around in a shovel. But facts comfort me. Abundant new data shows that our fears are way out of proportion to the threat—and that those fears themselves put

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The Last Unchallenged Stereotype, Part 1

In our youth-obsessed culture, it’s easy to buy into the negative stereotypes of aging. It is this discrimination that convinces us that aging is mostly about decline. And yet, research continually tells us that how we age is mostly up to us, and that our perception of aging influences our

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Oh, To Be Young Again…Not

Oh, to be young again…Really? Recently, a friend sent me letters I had written to her during our first year in college. In one letter, I wrote: “I went to a meeting last night that will change my life forever. I learned about institutional racism:  we are all racists.” The

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