Benefits Of Ageing

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There are a number of benefits to be found from thinking about ageing as a lifelong process and not just one that affects older people. This essay will define some of these benefits whilst backing up this reasoning with reference to the K118 material. It will then explain briefly which experiences I have had personally which have led me to responding to the question in this manner.

In today’s society, what was once said to be true and taken as fact regarding older people is no longer the whole story. As Laslett states, “At all times before the middle of the twentieth century and all over the globe the greater part of human life potential has been wasted, by people dying before their allotted time was up.” (1989a), and to a great extent a lot …show more content…

Conversely, this is also a misconception of sorts. Ageism was a concept devised by Butler (1975) to describe how older people in general were discriminated against purely on the basis of being over a certain age by younger members of society (cited in The Open University, 2014c). Using this concept of ageism, Ms Jones is correct in what she is saying, however since Butler and Lewis defined this term, further research has been carried out into ageism and this term has evolved again as society has changed. A more modern take on ageism is defined by Bytheway (2005) cited in the K118 course material (The Open University, 2014d) as “Indeed we are all, throughout our lives, oppressed by ageism, by dominant expectations about age, expectations that dictate how we behave and relate to one another.” In my own personal experience I have been on the receiving end of ageist remarks at different stages in my life. As a teenager, it was perfectly normal for me and my friends to get told off for “loitering” if there was a group of more than 3 of us – 2 teenagers together were tolerated in our town, anymore than that were presumed to be causing trouble, even if we were quite innocently minding our own business. I am now a woman with a 7 year old, and it is amazing how many times I have been asked when my …show more content…

My genetic background is not predisposed to having a fulfilling old age – I have history of heart disease, strokes and diabetes in both sides of my family so it is important for me to live a healthier lifestyle not only for myself, but to show my child that this is a good idea from the beginning.
My own experiences have of course had an impact on how I have attempted to answer this question, because without these experiences I would have a completely different angle to take in relation to these issues. It is also important to understand that should I be asked this question again in another 10 years time, I might have a different set of answers to give again due to advances socially and changes which may or may not occur within my personal life.

In conclusion, there are several benefits to thinking about ageing as a lifelong process, and not just as something which affects older people. Combating ageism at any age, celebrating the diversity amongst our ageing population, and the importance of having a healthier lifestyle in the present to prepare our bodies for the challenges posed by ageing are all valid strengths to this reasoning. It is also important to be able to relate these benefits in terms to your own experiences as this knowledge gives you a greater empathy with

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