Can America Age Gracefully?

Author: judyjudy

Can America Age Gracefully?


The recent exploration, “Can America Age Gracefully?” (Sunday Opinion, Sept. 10),
inquires into the challenges of an aging America. Readers respond with diverse insights, suggesting nuanced approaches to address the multifaceted aspects of growing older.

Rosanne M. Leipzig, a professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine, acknowledges the prevalence of ageism and urges for a dual approach. She emphasizes individual responsibility, encouraging openness and creativity in adapting to the changing
circumstances of aging. Simultaneously, she advocates for societal changes, proposing adjustments to Medicare’s priorities and enhancements to public transportation. The question she leaves us with is whether we, as a society, are ready to confront this
challenge collectively.

Leslie Curchack from Petaluma, Calif., introduces the concept of responsible elderhood, highlighting the actions of many older Americans who actively contribute to their communities. She emphasizes the importance of recognizing and appreciating the intentions and actions of elders who work towards creating a better future, not just for
their own families but for all generations.

Mary Alyson Lynch from Baltimore reflects on the value of intergenerational relationships. She shares personal experiences and advocates for providing
opportunities for young people to build lasting connections with older generations. Lynch emphasizes the simplicity and power of human connection, suggesting that fostering these relationships benefits both young and old.

John M. Fogg from Wilmington, N.C., addresses the need for a rational immigration policy, emphasizing the contribution of young Latino workers to the aging population. He challenges societal prejudices and suggests welcoming immigrants as a solution to demographic challenges.

The mother-daughter duo, Anne E. Marshall and Nancy Rose Marshall, calls for a more inclusive representation of the elderly demographic. They propose a regular column
about aging, written by different people from the elderly demographic, offering unique perspectives and countering ageism. They highlight the underacknowledged bias of ageism and advocate for a platform where the elderly can share their lived experiences.

Julie Barton, a retired gerontologist from Saratoga, Calif., stresses the importance of common sense, good family relationships, and a realistic attitude toward aging. She

shares a poignant story of a student’s desire to connect with his grandmother,
emphasizing the need for active listening and understanding in intergenerational communication.

Linda Cameron, at 71, shares her inspiring story of embracing change. She sold her possessions and moved to Italy to pursue her passion for ballroom dancing, competing internationally with a professional partner. Cameron embodies the spirit of joie de vivre, showcasing that age is not a barrier to pursuing one’s dreams.

As we reflect on these diverse perspectives, the question arises: How can we collectively redefine aging and create a society that values and supports individuals of all ages? Share your thoughts and experiences in our forum! How have you navigated the aging landscape, and what insights can you offer to foster a more inclusive and
supportive community for all generations?