5 compelling reasons to read Age Myths even if you’re not that old

Old long haired hippy man riding motorcycle with chihuahuas in side car July 25, 2014 21Mark Twain once said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

And as I’ve grown older, I’ve been struck by how aging isn’t nearly as dismal and dreary as the conventional wisdom suggests.

The year I turned 60, for example, I started a new job in Seattle and joined Toastmasters. A few years later, I met a wonderful man at work, retired from my job, started this blog, and moved across the U.S. with my boy-friend who had taken a job in southern Maryland. He calls it a “failed retirement.”

Myths about growing older affect us all. So even if you’re not that old, here are five compelling reasons to read this blog.

Most of the really awful, scary stuff you know about aging isn’t true

Stuff like how old people don’t have sex: If they’re interested, they’re not capable, and if they’re capable, they’re not interested. Totally untrue! Age Myths discusses these myths, drawing on findings reported in books, newspapers, and websites, and sometimes my own experience.

Some common myths of aging aren’t just wrong, they’re positively harmful

When you hear over and over again that “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” it can make you dread growing older. Then as you grow older, you may believe the myth and stop trying new things. Or you may try new things but think you won’t be any good at them. Thus the myth becomes the reality.

You’re too young to join AARP, but your parents are 60 or older

As time goes by, they’ll likely be dealing with questions about retiring vs. continuing to work, managing their health and navigating the U.S. health care system, and keeping active mentally. You and your brothers and sisters are likely to be be part of difficult and delicate discussions about these and related matters with your parents.

Age Myths celebrates the lives of people who continue to do fabulous work in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond

People like Mavis Staples, the great gospel singer and veteran of the civil-rights movement. She started singing professionally at age 8 and is still going strong in her 70s. Grab some Kleenex and click here to see Mavis perform “Hard Times Come Again No More” and “We Shall Not Be Moved.”

Finally, this stage of life ain’t what it used to be

Aging is changing for many reasons. It’s changing because of the economy and demographic trends and the political climate and challenges to conventional thinking about nursing homes and end-of-life care and all sorts of other factors. Age Myths addresses some of these complex issues and welcomes your thoughts about them.

What do you think? Do you have any questions, suggestions for posts, or other comments? I’d love to hear from you or your parents or grandparents or other amazing old people you know.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Madeleine Kolb 03/06/2011, 11:44 am

    Clar, I appreciate your comment. I agree that just about anyone can learn to use a computer. What is so strange is the assumption that people who looks older than 50 or so don’t know how.

    There are so many myths out there, and myths die hard. But blogging is a great way to get a dialogue going about some of the positive realities of aging.

  • Clar http://Clarbojahn.wordpress.com/ 03/04/2011, 12:03 pm

    Hi Madeline, I found you from Alist. I am a newbie at using the computer and a greenhorn blogger only having started four months ago, and I’m 62 going on 30. If I can learn how to use the computer anyone can. Thankfully my husb is very expedient on it and can help me in tough spots and he is my main teacher but I dropped out of main stream nursing just as the computer boom came on the horizon and didn’t learn it along with everyone else. My mother quite using email after about 86 when it began to confuse her. So it is a myth that one can’t use the computer until late in life. I love, love blogging, the writing of my blog, the readers the commenting on others blogs , the whole blogosphere out there.
    Thank you for a blog that encourages us as we age. I’ll be looking around.
    Clar http://Clarbojahn.wordpress.com/ recently posted..A Non Book Review or Non Synopsis of “Holes”My Profile

  • Madeleine Kolb 03/04/2011, 9:01 am

    Many people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s use computers and have for decades. My post “Who said old people don’t use computers?” discusses that. Assuming that a person is not experiencing dementia (or deteriorating vision or other debilitating conditions), he should be able to use a computer as long as he lives.

    If a person has never used a computer, he should be able to learn it at any age.One difficulty would be learning everything all at once rather than over time as new advances came along–as I did. Another difficulty would be overcoming the myth about old dogs and new tricks. That myth really messes with people’s minds

  • Miss Footloose 03/03/2011, 6:18 pm

    My father-in-law is 91 years old and still uses his computer, mostly for games now, because e-mail is beginning to confuse him.

  • Madeleine Kolb 03/02/2011, 9:06 pm

    The Age Myth Buster, I love the title and the work. As you know so well, growing older can be a time of exciting new beginnings. Or it can be a time to “keep on keeping on,” in the words of Mavis Staples.

    I really appreciate your comment, Angela.

  • Angela Artemis 03/02/2011, 7:42 pm

    Hi Madeleine,
    I love reading Age Myths. The older I get the younger 50, 60, 70, & 80 seems to be!
    I think you should keep on exposing age myths! You are the AGE Myth buster!
    Angela Artemis recently posted..The Miracle of Sahaja Yoga MeditationMy Profile