Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.
California NewsUSA

Use these strategies to overcome internal ageism – Orange County Register

Last week we discussed the personal impact of internal ageism, the negative voices in our heads that influence our well-being and longevity.

Fortunately, ageist beliefs are not set in stone and are malleable according to Becca Levy, professor of epidemiology at Yale, as reported in the Washington Post (August 17, 2023) and author of “Breaking the Age Code” (HarperCollins, 2022 ). To prevent internal ageism and help us adopt an attitude of age development, Levy developed the ABC method, that of age liberation. It involves raising awareness, placing blame where it is due, and challenging negative beliefs.

Here are some highlights.

Growing awareness. Awareness comes from within; it’s internal. It is becoming aware of our own language and our choice of words. “Elderspeak” replaces normal words and language with simple words, speaking them louder, slower, and in a sing-song manner. Although it is sometimes endearing to refer to an older person as sweetheart, darling or cute, these words are considered ageist and usually reserved for children or puppies according to Levy and others.

Awareness also comes from outside, it is an external vision beyond ourselves. Look for role models who might be grandparents, teachers, neighbors or a school friend. Focus on their strong positive qualities and how they challenge negative stereotypes. Note that it can be counterproductive to model your life on a single “overly positive” image, Levy writes. Examples include the late John Glenn who returned to space at age 77, the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg who wrote a brilliant memoir at age 80, or Henri Matisse who painted the famous cutouts at age 80 when he was almost blind. These people are a source of inspiration. Yet we will never be able to enter space, write legal briefs for the Supreme Court, or become a renowned painter. However, we can focus on their specific qualities such as their work ethic, commitment to gender equality, preparation and tenacity.

In addition to becoming aware of patterns, we can look at greeting cards. Many describe body parts as sagging or painful as well as cracking knees. Birthday cards make fun of memory loss, bladder control or make fun of the sex lives of older people. Although many will say that when such cards come from a best friend, that person will know it’s a joke and won’t take it personally. Levy and others would say otherwise. For anti-ageist birthday cards, see Age-Friendly Vibes developed by Jan Golden.

What is less obvious to the naked eye is subtle external ageism, the absence of older people in clinical trials or their minimal representation in advertisements, entertainment, marketing strategies and in the venue. work.

Place blame where it is due. When things go wrong, we have a natural tendency to blame the person rather than the situation according to Levy. Here’s a story to take stock. A 92-year-old man goes to the doctor and complains that his right leg is painful and inflamed. The doc says, “What do you expect, you’re 92 years old.” The older man said, “But doc, my left leg is the same age.” Dismissing a patient’s complaint because he or she is old is blaming old age when something else could be the cause, such as a pulled muscle. To assume that the problem is age-related is to assume that the disease cannot be resolved.

Challenge negative beliefs. It’s taking responsibility and having the opportunity to express yourself. This can happen by seeing ageist images in advertising and media, hearing ageist comments in conversation, or observing ageist policies or practices in the workplace or public forums. If someone says an artist or politician is “too old” or “too young,” respond: “I’m trying to think about what they do, not their age.” Instead of saying, “You look great for your age,” just say, “You look great.”

Here are three messages: Levy’s research reveals that those with positive age beliefs live on average 7.5 years longer than those with negative age beliefs. Beliefs can change. We each have the opportunity to develop positive attitudes and potentially benefit from these 7.5 bonus years.

California Daily Newspapers

Back to top button