All aging is successful because otherwise you are dead. Living needs aging. There is no best or right way to age. Each of us will make different accommodations and find different meanings. --Ashton Applewhite

Living Needs Aging: A Conversation with Ashton Applewhite

Living Needs Aging: A Conversation with Ashton Applewhite

Feb 22, 2018-- In this interview ageism expert Ashton Applewhite discusses what she has learned over the course of her work. "People literally don't realize that it is no more acceptable to criticize someone on the basis of age than on the basis of anything else about themselves, I think the most important thing to think about is language-- because we live in a youth-oriented society, we tend to use young to equate with good things and old with bad things...I started interviewing people over eighty who worked. Everything I learned about these remarkable people I was meeting and from my own research completely contradicted all these notions I had about what it would like to be that old, about immobility, about the way you move through the world, the way you see yourself. I assumed that older people were depressed because they were really old and going to die soon. In fact, older people have better rates of mental health than young or middle aged people because of neurological changes that occur in the brain. It was hard for me to believe that people were less afraid of dying as they got older.... It is a function of the fact that the awareness that time is short doesn't fill people with dread; it makes them spend their time more wisely." (8601 reads)

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