Boomers should avoid ageism in themselves

Feb. 27, 2011 at 12:52 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Ageism is prevalent, but baby boomers should avoid self-prejudice and ignore ageist comments from others as well, a U.S. researcher advises.

Dr. Robert S. Stall, a University at Buffalo clinical assistant professor in medicine and a specialist in geriatrics, says baby boomers should avoid self-prejudice -- "Doctor, I'm not getting any younger!" -- and ignore ageist comments from friends, family, even healthcare professionals -- "What do you expect at your age?"

Aging boomers have a lot to expect in terms of health and well-being, Stall says.

"You should tend to both the diseases and the 'dis-eases,' such as pain, depression, social isolation, functional problems, that are more common as you age but not due to age, in and of itself," Stall says in a statement.

"Everyone knows a 95-year-old who looks and acts 75, and the 65-year-old who appears to be 80. And anyone who thinks the pain in their right knee is solely age-related needs to wonder how their same-aged left knee can be pain-free."

Stall says not only baby boomers, but everyone should remember that "gradual decline may not be Alzheimer's disease, ageist attitudes are harmful and there is always something that can be done to help" as we age.

A study published in 2009 in the journal Psychological Science said people who believe in negative age stereotypes tend to fulfill them.

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