What can be done about negative stereotypes that portray older adults as out of touch, useless, feeble, incompetent, pitiful and irrelevant?
With late-night TV comedy shows where supposedly clueless older people are the butt of jokes and with ads for anti-aging creams equating youth with beauty and wrinkles with decay, harsh and unflattering images shape assumptions about aging. Although people may hope for good health and happiness, they tend to believe that growing older involves deterioration and decline, according to reports from the Reframing Aging Initiative.
Dismal expectations can become self-fulfilling as people start experiencing changes associated with growing older — aching knees or problems with hearing, for instance. If a person has internalized negative stereotypes, his or her confidence may be eroded, stress responses activated, motivation diminished (“I’m old, and it’s too late to change things”) and sense of efficacy (“I can do that”) impaired.
Read the whole story: The Washington Post