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Challenging ageist attitudes

Editor: I love being a senior. There are so many perks: discounts at the pharmacy, cheaper bus rides and haircuts, even a deal at the yoga studio. Believe it or not, many of us are more content than at any other time in our lives.
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Editor:

I love being a senior.

There are so many perks: discounts at the pharmacy, cheaper bus rides and haircuts, even a deal at the yoga studio.

Believe it or not, many of us are more content than at any other time in our lives.

At 69, I feel better than ever, and was riled up recently when a young substitute teacher at my 55+ fitness class seemed to think that we needed to practice getting in and out of cars.

She also had us taking wide steps forward, backward and sideways to prepare for icy winter sidewalks.

These exercises may be useful, but were clearly inappropriate for our active group of hikers, bikers and skiers.

Older people are often considered too wrinkled, feeble or forgetful to carry out simple everyday activities. This is hogwash.

Most of us are healthy and fit – so please, don’t make assumptions.

Far too many people have ageist attitudes. All of us are old people in training.

Those who are fortunate enough to live long lives will, sooner or later, be affected by the common viewpoint that seniors are no longer valuable to society.

I believe that the younger, vibrant and hopeful members of our group can be instrumental in changing that mindset.

In this era of inclusiveness and equality, a move to abolish ageism is both timely and imperative. By helping seniors, we help everyone.

People of all ages need encouragement. Fitness is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle.

What about socialization and mental well-being? Let’s stop dwelling on our limitations and begin working together to help everyone enjoy a better life.

The first step is to stop assuming that people over 65 are not capable enough to perform everyday activities such as getting in and out of a car.

Cynthia Ullmark,

Canmore



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