Life Times Newsletter

May/June 2002
Vol. 4, No. 3

Getting older, getting better!!

Although many people dread the thought of "getting old," attitudes about aging have changed because many older Americans have discovered that getting older is not all that bad.

Susan Scarf Merrell wrote in American Demographics: "The wondrous news is that getting old is a generally positive thing. We donít just accumulate years, we also gain wisdom which enables us to make decisions with less of the fussing and wheel-spinning that marked our teens and twenties."

There are many positive benefits that older people have realized, according to Merrell. Here are some of the benefits:

All this does not lead to a claim that getting older is all fun and games. Just ask someone dealing with a serious illness or raising a grandchild.

We know that two aspects of aging are slowing down and having a less-efficient memory, but one of the worst aspects of aging seems to be some of the intolerant attitudes of younger people. However, as Merrell also points out, it is very difficult to generalize about older people because they are as heterogeneous as any other group of people.

Maudie Kelly, MS
Human Development Specialist

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University of Missouri Extension Editor: Roxanne T. Miller