My Adorable Age Thing


A study on ageism by Professor Donna Wilson at the University of Alberta indicates, at last, the difficulties of growing old while being accepted as a viable member of society.

It’s no surprise that the images of the “sweet little old lady” are so strongly embedded in the nation’s psyche. We won’t address the “dirty old man” stereotype here! Just to say, that is not true, either!

Folklore and the media perpetuate this myth, as do some of the “old ladies” themselves.

Many years ago I sought help at the local mental health clinic for a personal problem. Being over 60 years old at the time, I was immediately shunted into a Geriatrics program and counseled by a registered nurse who first asked me what year it was, who the Prime Minister was, and if I could count backwards from 20. Annoying and demeaning as that was, I asked to be placed into a regular program where I could consult a doctor or psychologist and the nurse told me that for anyone over the age of 60 this was the only option. She told me also that all she could do for me was support me in my endeavors. Helplessly, she shrugged her shoulders.

Another situation arose when in my fifties I applied for what seemed like a fun job in a bird shop. The owner asked me first how old I was and although there is a law in Canada against discrimination on the basis of age, foolishly and passively I answered.

Sigh.

Since then, my own medical transcription business, first started in 1999, has become rather successful and this is how I support myself, with the help of a few royalties from writing books and – of course – a pension from the Canada Pension Fund and Old Age Security. That is called WHAT??? Yes, Old Age…Security… there are perks to being old!

There ARE perks to being old, like subsidies in apartments and for bus passes, and movies, and all sorts of people giving up their seats for me.

We live in a society where the population is rapidly aging. In a few years we will make up an alarming percentage of the country.

Grey Power, anyone?

Have any Question or Comment?

8 comments on “My Adorable Age Thing

You showed them what you could do! Hugs to my younger Candian friend.

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kmckinnon1

Yes, my fellow senior, but only by a few years! Odd how a couple of years matters so much when we’re kids and in our twenties, but not at all as we approach the “golden” years. It’s important to have friends of all ages, ethnicities, and social levels, in my opinion. And we must never stop learning, laughing, and loving!

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I read an interesting article several months ago about when women get into their middle years they lose all their power. Jobs and promotions are far and few apart, and men no longer are interested in you. I’ve seen some of this in my own job. It’s tough to deal with when you feel like you still have so much to offer. The sad part government never talks about is that the senior population will surpass the working class and the funding for our Social Security and Medicare will dwindle as well.

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kmckinnon1

We are definitely a growing population, Sahara, and in many ways a forgotten one. It IS tough to deal with ageism in the workplace. Women anchors have been replaced in television simply because they are no longer young, though older men are seen as sexy and attractive. It’s time to fight back!

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JUDITH HANSEN

I tried to subscribe to this site, but was told I already was a subscriber. I blame old age, LOL! It’s wonderful to see you writing, Kenna. I love your reply to Mari Collier, and agree wholeheartedly. I am familiar with your history, and think you are absolutely a heroine for overcoming the many obstacles you faced. Keep up the good work!

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kmckinnon1

You are a warrior as well, my friend, and we must continue to fight the good fight and run the race. As the population increasingly reaches the centennial mark and it’s no longer uncommon to live to 100, we must ensure that our support systems are in place to ensure a healthy, happy, and comfortable long life. It’s up to us, in many ways, to educate and inform our governments, services, and fellow humanity that we are HERE and not to be overlooked or demeaned!

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Gray power with some help from Clairol. Lol

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kmckinnon1

If I were grey, Eve, I would welcome a few white hairs amongst the gold, but we girls in our family have inherited our mother’s genes and don’t turn grey with age. Both my sister and I have highlighted our darker hair for many years. My daughter still has the blonde lovely hair she had as a child. LOL but it’s great to have some help to combat the ageism inherent in grey locks. Though I notice some very young women have turned to the color grey when they color their hair. Maybe grey is becoming trendy! My favorite professor in University had salt and pepper hair although she was in her mid-30s and I thought she looked stunning, and she did.

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