You see aging as a negative experience, but you might not be aware of it. In fact, one in three Canadians admit they’ve treated someone differently because of their age. Yet, older adults are actually very positive about their later years, with more than one third agreeing with statements such as “age is just a number,” “you never stop living life to the fullest” and “the best is yet to come.” Aging can be a positive experience, and here are some easy tips to become more age aware. Change the way you engage with older adults by remembering the three Os!
- Open-mindedness: Many people assume they know what’s best for older adults. But, like all of us, seniors want to be actively involved in matters that affect them, so make sure you consult them, listen to their opinions and have input into all decisions that affect them.
- Optimism: People tend to focus on the negative consequences of aging. Instead, focus on the joys and fulfillment that can come with growing older. An optimistic attitude can go a long way to fueling age inclusive behavior.
- Outreach: Research shows a lack of contact between people of different generations fuels stereotypes and misperceptions. The simple act of reaching out to talk with someone older will promote positive attitudes and behavior towards older generations.