Aging is something that we all do. Yet the stigma around the aging process creates negativity, and can even diminish our esteem toward older adults. It can have real, detrimental effects on our health.
Here are 5 reasons to change attitudes about aging:
1. Living longer is a good thing (we just have to prepare for it).
2 . We all give and receive caregiving throughout our lives. It’s not a need exclusive to the aging population; no one gets through life without support.
3. Focusing on living well improves quality of life.
4. It can potentially save money for everyone. Preventative, proactive care helps manage long term illnesses and decreases emergency room visits. Also, there are conditions that can only be treated if we recognize them as such. Chalking up memory loss to aging, for example, can be harmful.
5. It can motivate policy change in the federal government. Changing attitudes on aging makes the topic less taboo. It allows stakeholders and advocates to put the issues and importance of caregiving in the public eye. If these issues that affect so many in our society were talked about and addressed by the public, our healthcare industry could change to benefit older adults and caregivers.
To learn more about changing attitudes toward aging and caregiving check out this interview with Ai-Jen Poo and her new caregiving book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America.