The November 14, 2020 edition of The New York Times featured an interview with the iconic actress Sophia Loren who, at age 86, stars in a new Netflix film titled “The Life Ahead.” In response to a question about whether she is consciously concerned about aging gracefully, Loren aptly states:
If you accept the aging process and live in the present, then you age gracefully.
Some will undoubtedly respond by thinking . . . “Hmmm, sure, it’s easy for Sophia Loren to say
that. She has the ability and means to facilitate the process.”
Like Loren, I am a proponent of positive and purposeful aging. Obviously, that is where our
But seriously, our society and culture need to embrace aging and elevate efforts to combat
ageism. First and foremost, the prefix “anti” should never precede the word “aging.” This is one
of my pet peeves. Wouldn’t it be easier to replace it with “pro”? Manufacturers and advertisers
should collaborate and agree on substitute product terminology.
While the aging process can certainly be frightening and challenging, there is no good
alternative. As recognized in the inimitable lyrics of James Taylor, now age 72:
Never give up, never slow down Never grow old, never die young
These two stanzas encapsulate my anti-anti-aging philosophy. They so resonate with my core
personal and professional beliefs. I even quoted them when I hosted a launch event for
Concierge Care Coordination® back in 2015.
Indeed, aging is a mindset and an undeniable fact of life. It is a daily, but unconscious, practice
for most of us. My clients who appear to have aged gracefully share a common thread of
positivity as the key to their success. Genetics aside, this mindset is aided by proactive planning,
both financially and emotionally. Accordingly, one of my main missions and passions is to help
shift the attitudes of those who lament about growing old. If properly planned for, it can be a
long phase of life delivering pleasure and fulfillment. Unfortunately, many individuals in their
seventh through ninth decades suffer from cognitive impairment and/or comorbidities precluding purposeful aging. However, those who are relatively young and healthy should adopt new attitudes and set positive tones regarding the process. Perhaps this will trickle down and
influence the attitudes of younger generations. Perhaps then society will not seek to marginalize
or warehouse older generations who can continue to contribute their wealth of time, talent,
treasure, and knowledge. They can be invaluable mentors to be revered and respected.
We need to develop more intergenerational interaction, including programs, policies, and
platforms to promote purposeful and positive aging and support systems. It certainly requires a