Changing the Aging Mentality

An effective book on aging dispels many old beliefs and presents new thoughts on the aging process. Written by Jo Ann Jenkins, “Disrupt Aging” helps people realize that reaching 50, 60, 70 and beyond is not about aging, it is about living.  Seventy is not the new fifty; 70 is the new 70 with the benefits of experience and wisdom to face the goals and challenges facing a 70-year-old today. These goals and challenges are very different than those facing 50 or 60 year olds. Jenkins states, “We see the world through a lens shaped by life’s ups and downs, by the wisdom gained from those experiences and by the comfort that comes from having a better understanding of who we are as individuals. We like where we are, and we’re looking forward to the years ahead.” Her other thoughts include facts about being workers, caregivers, volunteers, philanthropists, leaders in the community, supporters of houses of worship, and helping hands to neighbors and friends – in other words, being active members of society at all ages.

The theme of this book is to disrupt aging so people can confront challenges and embrace aging as something to look forward to, not something to fear. Attitudes about aging have to change, from seeing it as a process of deterioration, dependency, reduced potential and digital incompetence to embracing aging as a process that brings new opportunities and new challenges. Aging people need to view themselves as having a sense of purpose and a positive self-image, seeing themselves as an integral part of society instead of feeling isolated. Boomers have already started the movement to disrupt aging by changing age-based expectations through work-life balance. In this exciting time people can grow older knowing they will have access to the care and information they need to lead healthy lives with independence and dignity. At 50, each of us becomes the person we always wanted to be, according to Maya Angelou. Changing the conversation about aging as something to look forward to and not something to fear is a goal, realizing that older people are contributors, not burdens. With increasing life expectancy and technological advances, beliefs about aging will change, as there are many bonus years for growth and exploration with products and services to meet all needs.

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