Sunday, March 4, 2012

When will I be Old?

March 7, 2012 Update
5k Crop Walk

On Sunday, March 11, I will be participating in my first charity 5K walk. I mentioned to friend who happens to be the Executive Director of an agency that provides funding for Senior activities that I would be participating in the Senior Olympics. His organization had fielded a team in an upcoming Crop Walk (an event to fight hunger) and his agency would also receive a percentage of the money raised. The funds raised for his organization would be minimal but the overall amounts donated to local and nationwide organizations would be significant. He asked me to participate in the Crop Walk.

At that moment I couldn’t say no. I signed up the next day and also managed to get a few friends to donate to my team goal. Sunday will be a bonus day: raising money for a worthwhile cause, exercise, and chance for some good photographs. My friend probably won’t be able to participate because of bad knees but he’ll be there along with my wife cheering us and all the others in the event.

When Will I be Old? (March 4, 2012)

My normal pattern of using the Internet as a research tool and following links to reputable web sites found me downloading an article this week from the American Psychological Association (APA) titled “Practitioners Working with Older Adults.” While this article is meant for mental health professionals I found it very enlightening. This article is a source of inspiration for this blog, and probably more in the future.

I was drawn to several sections of interest. Initially, I was attracted to the breakdown of older adults into three categories: younger-old (65-75), older-old (75-85), and oldest-old (85+). This contrasts with the public view AARP promotes; AARP membership starts at 50 years of age. When I was 20 years old anyone over 40 was old; as the years went by my definition of old changed. Now that I am almost 68 years of age my definition continues to shift. I like the APA category I am in now because it has the word “younger” in it. I know that I am not middle-aged and I don’t feel like a senior citizen or an old gezzer. I am a “YOUNGER-old,” according to the APA. If that isn’t an Oxymoron I don’t know what is.

This classification validates my current my mind set. I am young. I walk 2 plus miles several times a week, work every day, don’t go to Senior lunches, or participate in any event labeled “Senior.” Wait a minute; I forgot that I am registered for the March Texas SENIOR Games. To my chagrin I am old, but with the modifier of “younger.”

The term “younger-old” gives me another 7 years until I reach “older-old.” Maybe by then the shifting or expanding definitions will change. One can only hope to be around until then to find out.

The article goes on to state that many older adults don’t even label themselves as old.  Age categories are meaningless as long as Seniors (me included) are active, participating and contributing self-perceived value to society.


Of course, I will still ask for Seniors and AARP discounts whenever I can or remember.

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1 comment:

  1. That is pretty cool that you found an article that says older adults aged 65-75 are in the "YOUNGER OLD" category! Your walking almost everyday, eating healthy, and losing weight. Wow!

    You inspire and motivate me dad! Keep it you old man! Wait, I mean keep it up you younger old man!!!