How do you feel about the jokes about older adults’ forgetfulness, unwillingness to change, being out of date or slow? Do you find them offensive, or true? Or is your feeling,” Hey, it’s just a joke”?
How do you feel when your doctor explains your condition is because of old age? Or they won’t prescribe a treatment because you are too old?
How do you feel when you learn judicial judges in Oregon have to resign after they turn 75?
How do you feel when someone tells you that you don’t look your age? Is it a compliment or do you answer, “Thank you but this is my age.”
Many advocates for older adults consider these situations as examples of society’s all too common negative view of aging.
Granted many of us may not move as fast, open that jar of spaghetti sauce as easily, or find the right answer as quickly. (Research has shown even though our minds may not be as quick, they are more accurate!)
Although most of us are mentally and physically active, the media often portrays older adults as either stooped over, frail and elderly with nothing to contribute or enjoy, or super seniors climbing mountains or running marathons. (Wow. They aren’t supposed to be doing that at their age!)
But should we care about how society and the media portray older adults?
Yes, when it marginalizes older adults and robs them of choice, independence, and dignity, and negatively impacts their quality of life. It is particularly damaging when those negative views of aging influence how we think of ourselves and shape our own behavior. We may stop taking responsibility, lose confidence, withdraw, and become more dependent because that is what we are told old age is, right?
But every day, you and I pop those bubbles of negative images of aging, because we are the real thing. We are what older is. Most of us are active, caring, inquisitive, and live meaningful lives while in our sixties, seventies, eighties, and older.
We are all growing older in our own way with a great deal to contribute and appreciate – contrary to what society and the media tell us. We do change, particularly our bodies, but in many other ways, we are the same person we were 50 years ago – just a little wiser. And with new possibilities and adventures – if you look for them – we can experience the full abundance of life no matter our age. As Joan Chittister writes in her book, The Gift of Years, ‘Age is not a thing to be pitied, to apologize for, to fear, to resist, to see as a sign of gloom. Only the old can make age a bright and vibrant place to be.” It’s up to us.
Brain Tease: There are many ways to exercise your brain: jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, or learning a new language. To get you started, find the translations for these three Spanish phrases – and you’ll be on your way to learning a new language! 1.) Que gusto saludarte. 2.) Gracias por su ayuda. 3.) Que te vaya bien.
The name of the television series starring Richard Chamberlain and Raymond Massey that told the story of a young intern working in a fictional large metropolitan hospital was my mother’s favorite show, Dr. Kildare. (Although I found that Ben Casey was the heartthrob of several readers!) I receive correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Jess Birge, Lana Tepfer, Donna Mollett, and Rose Schulz this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.
The Pacific Northwest has many famous, and infamous, legends and mysteries: Bigfoot, the “exploding whale” in Florence in 1970, and this one that occurred on November 24th, 1971. For this week’s “Remember When” questions, what was the common name for the unidentified man who hijacked Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 during the flight from Portland to Seattle, possibly armed with a bomb and demanding $200,000 in ransom, equivalent to $1,338,000 in 2021? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788 or send it with your theory for the fate of this mysterious hijacker.
Well, it’s been another week, finally enjoying the true fall weather. Until we meet again, as Calvin told Hobbes “Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don’t help.”
Cowboy Wisdom: Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.
Nutritious home-delivered and in-person meals are available at noon Monday through
Friday unless otherwise noted.
Seniors of Mosier Valley (541-980-1157) – Mondays and Wednesdays; Hood River
Valley Adult Center (541-386-2060); Sherman County Senior and Community Center
(541-565-3191); The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels (541-298-8333)
For meal sites in Washington, call Klickitat County Senior Services – Goldendale office
(509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-3068); Skamania County Senior