P17

Ageism is defined as discrimination against older adults with predefined stereotypes. It begins around fifty years old, when an individual is being defined as growing old. We are inundated with ads targeted toward those growing old with how we look, dress, eat, live and maintain health.

I think info commercials are the worst with leading claims of countless gimmicks of how something changed someone’s life. Recently I had a man come to the house to discuss doing some work.
He proceeded to talk to me, with what he thought was a good sales pitch.

“You know people try to take advantage of 'Elderly People.'”

I rather found this offensive because by comparing the two of us it was obvious that I was in much better physical shape than he was, and he was not that much younger than me.

I said, “I hope you are not referring me to being elderly, sir, because I could kick you into next week!”

He began to backtrack his statement. He was not called back to be hired.

“Elderly” is defined as someone sixty-five years or older with silver hair. I guess we need to add sitting in a rocking chair to that definition.

The “young old” is approximately 65 to 74, “middle age,” 75 to 84, and “old old,” over 85. I refer to the definition of “elderly as a physical and cognitive capability,” and someone could be considered a state of “elderly” at a much younger age. The term “I am ageless” has a more positive approach to age, and let us face it, we begin aging the day we are born.

Today’s seniors are not the stereotypical images of our parents retiring and going home to rest. Who wants to rest? The modern senior enjoys life and knows how to do it.

They do not feel the need to be anything to anyone except themselves, are not governed by social status, and try to fit in, where they live or with what they have. Priorities are easier set and “no as an answer” has become part of our vocabulary.

“Been there done that” is a frequent go-to as part of a conversation. You have arrived at your stage of life. You know what you do and do not want, and you set your boundaries with gained confidence.

You have confidence because you know what and what not to say and often find that wisdom is a part of not saying anything or getting involved. Your circle of friends may begin to get smaller as you discover who is there for you and who is there for convenience.

Today's seniors are well-read, hip and many still work because they prefer to in the way of part-time employment or by volunteering. They are an asset to any work environment because they are dependable and have good work ethics.

They bring a wealth of knowledge to work because they simply have experience in life. Many companies are gearing toward older workers because of skills based on experience and are less likely to jump from one job to another because it does not suit them.

I work at a fitness center that caters to an older clientele, and as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, that is my preference for a client to work with.

The reason is that lifestyle is all about functional movement and the ability to continue an active lifestyle. It is not about the latest diet or being skinny, because health comes in all sizes. On any given day you will find that the “elderly generation” outperforms the younger ones.

Live love life with passion.

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