Posts Tagged 'ageism'

Aging + Design: The Inclusive Design Challenge

Here are two fun examples of how my book, Aging our Way, has been used this year, involving questions of aging, space, and design:


Students enrolled in the Design School at Syracuse University were faced with a challenge: How do we design for an aging population?

They heard from interdisciplinary scholars on aging. They read Aging Our Way. And then they went to the local assisted living center and met with elders…

Check out the Inclusive Design Challenge here.

Thanks to Syracuse University for this wonderful opportunity to think through space, place, and elders as designers.The students were great; I found that so many were inspired by their relationships with grandparents.


Local public television series Agewise continues this conversation about aging and the importance of place. The latest episode highlights our favorite 97-year-old Dane, Glenn, in his home and with his Tuesday morning breakfast club.

Check out the latest episode, “How to Age in Place.” Glenn and I are featured 21 minutes in.

Thanks to Albany Guardian Society for inviting us to be part of this great series!







The Art of Aging – Israeli Children’s Museum Exhibit

The Israeli Children’s Museum has an exhibition on aging called Dialogue with Time.

How smart is that? And one of the goals is to facilitate intergenerational dialogue. As a student of mine shared, “I particularly liked that in establishing the museum they created jobs that could only be held by elders (70+) as guides and experts.”

Why not counter age-based stereotypes from day one, and honor how one will age and grow and change with time…

Watch the testimonials here.

Perhaps a Children’s Museum in the US would be willing to take this traveling exhibit on as well?

Here’s the info from the website:

Dialogue with Time – an exhibition about the art of aging

Dialogue with Time is an interactive exhibition, the first of its kind in the world that deals with aging from an original perspective.

Dialogue with Time is a groundbreaking exhibition that allows its visitors a glimpse into the world of the elderly. Through experiential play, using latest technology, a creative intergenerational dialogue is produced dispelling stereotypes and clichés of old age.

The guides of this exhibition are aged 70 and above. They are the mediators and experts in all facets of aging and act as role models.

Yo, Is This Ageist?

Everyone is talking about Clint Eastwood‘s performance at the RNC last week. The most common thing I hear is, “That was really crazy stuff he said up there, but he IS 82.”

There are all sorts of assumptions about senility in this chatter. I’m bothered by this. So I consult my new favorite blog: Yo, Is this Ageist? authored by the awesome Ashton Applewhite.

I guess Paula Span of the NYTimes did the same thing. She writes about Ashton’s response in her latest blog post, “On Ageism and ‘Eastwooding.'”

if you missed it, here’s Applewhite’s response:

“My take is that Clint’s primary crime was being lazy and not being prepared — you need your talking points in order,” said the expert. “Not his finest hour, for sure.”

“But to attack him as senile was ageist. I don’t think people would have leveled charges of dottiness at someone 20 years younger.”

My response:

Yo, ageism is alive and well. Check it.

And Eastwood – maybe spontaneity isn’t your strongest suit.

Peace out.

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Betty White: 90, Proud, and Pranking

Just when we think she fits the “adorable grandmother figure” stereotype, Betty White socks it to us, as she should. In her non-threatening way, she’s leading a movement to confront ageism in society, and we’ll be all the better for it.

Did you see Betty White’s birthday extravaganza on NBC last night? What a scene! What pomp! What a lifetime Betty has had!  And such an impact. I came away feeling like she has mentored all of Hollywood! Despite the roast-like moments, the affair was sugary sweet, a fitting appreciation for Betty.

However, if you kept the TV on, the contrast between Betty’s birthday and Betty’s new show was fascinating.“Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” is a show about a gang of 7 senior citizens who play pranks on young people.

I like to call it “Punk’d! By Nonagenarians.”

There they are, playing up and bashing stereotypes of the elderly, to hilarious effect. And why not? They are the fastest-growing age group in our society. They are surprisingly healthy and strong, full of wisdom, and up until now, made to be mostly invisible – by Hollywood and society at large. (They are 70% women, although this is not evident in the show.) And let’s face it: they are the true survivors of this reality show we call life. So, why not put them in charge?  They are the best news of 2012 so far. And we really need to shift our thinking about “the elderly” and how aging is changing. So…

Betty: you go (Golden) girl!

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Meika Loe

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