When Does Old Age Begin?
When does Childhood End?
"Embracing Elderhood as a Stage of Life"
Dr. Louise Aronson, renowned geriatrician and bestselling author, shared a few tips on how we can change the narrative:
- Speak directly to older people, not to their caregivers or their children.
- Recognize subcategories of elderhood—65-year-olds function differently from 85-year-olds—and reflect these stages in policies, language, and programs.
- Accept more older adults in the workforce so they can retain a sense of purpose.
- Design technology with older adult users—and their real needs and wants—in mind.
“It needs to be okay to grow old—because the only alternative is to die young, Aronson emphasized. We’ve made old age into a disease, a condition to be dreaded, disparaged, neglected, and denied."
Louise Aronson, MD MFA, is a leading geriatrician, writer, educator, and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. The author of the New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist Elderhood, she is a regular contributor to the New York Times and the New England Journal of Medicine among other publications. Recognition of Louise’s work includes a MacDowell fellowship, four Pushcart nominations, the American Geriatrics Society Clinician-Teacher of the Year award, and a Gold Professorship for Humanism in Medicine.