Abigail Trafford is the weekly My Time columnist at the Washington Post and now that Donald M. Murray, who wrote a column for the Boston Globe, has died she is one of only two people at a big-city newspapers writing regularly about getting old.
For the new year, she offered a “big resolution:” to change the culture of aging and she lists ten excellent ways to get started. Here are five of them, but I urge you to read the whole story.
Plan beyond money: Too many people, writes Ms. Trafford, ask themselves only if they have enough money for their old age. She believes the first question should be, What am I going to do in these years? On average, we live 30 years longer than people did a century ago.
Redefine work: Trafford is advocating for flexible work schedules which would also benefit working parents. This has been urged for years and it’s time it became de rigeur in corporate America.
Expose Ageism: “Prejudice against older people is insidious,” writes Trafford, from healthcare to the media to the workplace. We’ll keep pointing it out here at TGB.
Put aging on the political agenda: Social Security and Medicare are important, but we need, too, to change laws and create opportunities “to tap into the potential of an unprecedented cohort of vital older Americans.”
Change the language: As I regularly rag on here at TGB, this is the starting point. When you change the language, you change how people think. “Retire the word ‘retire’”, says Trafford, “which implies withdrawing from life.” Hear, hear.
Ms. Trafford’s piece is true in every word and we need, all of us, to work on this. The entire story is here.