Our best is yet to come!

January 8, 2023

My husband’s frustration with his forgetfulness is growing. He searches for his misplaced coffee mug in every room of our home. He has my sympathy, as I look for my eyeglasses several times a day.

On the news we learn about a controversial Apple tracking device which has been dropped into purses to stalk unsuspecting women. Hasn’t some techie invented microchips to track misplaced household items?

Recently, my husband purchased a Google product which works like the popular Echo, but it sits idle in the kitchen. I want to ask, “OK, Google, where did I last put my glasses?”

She might quip, “You put them on the shelf in your bedroom closet, as you did yesterday and the evening before.”

Everyone forgets things as they grow older, but there is fear that it can be more serious. A Google search says, “More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million.”

No wonder we worry if we become forgetful, since we know friends and relatives whose lives have been upended by this horrific disease.

Another item in the news lately has been the topic of ageism. Ageism is defined as prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age. According to Google Scholar, June 27, 2022, “60% of older Americans have seen or experienced workplace age discriminations. Between 90% and 95% of those say it is common. Almost 25% of employees aged 45 and older have been subjected to negative comments about their age from supervisors or coworkers.”

In November, the CBS “Sunday Morning” show aired a segment about ageism. Susan Spencer interviewed Theresa Harrison, who founded a technology company that handles security for the Department of Defense.

Harrison, age 64, founded her company George Street Services while in her 50s.

“I can tell you are excited about your age. Why is that?” Spencer asks.

“I’ve become more innovative. I’ve become more creative. I’ve become more curious,” Harrison replied

Spencer also interviewed Ashton Applewhite, author of “The Chair Rocks,” whose aim is to raise awareness about ageism and to reject social cues that insult those who are growing older.

Applewhite cites birthday cards that talk about wrinkles and walkers, and she said, “Older adults tend to believe these prejudices about themselves.”

Harrison has been asked, “How long are you going to work? Aren’t you getting tired?”

An Aug. 24, 2022 article in says, “According to AARP, 72% of women within the 45 to 74 age range believe ageism is a problem at work.”

This doesn’t surprise me. I can recall the attitude of several young teachers who didn’t think I could offer my expertise when I was in my mid-50s. I recall painfully losing a staff development job to a woman half my age because she was tech savvy, while I was not. Truthfully, she deserved to get that job. Technology has never been a strength of mine.

While it’s often related to discrimination at work, there are many examples of ageism to note. Ageism can include telling a woman she’s too old to wear certain styles or telling someone they look good for their age.

One example from the Community of Vermont elders is, “Assuming young people are computer geniuses and older people are technologically inept.”

Bravo to Theresa Harrison! Perhaps you’ve become more curious and innovative. And your best is yet to come!


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