Our society has struggled with the terminology of aging -- seniors, senior citizens, elders and golden agers are examples of labels that often come across as belittling. But the connotations of the language we use does not line up with reality; research shows that people blossom again as they age.
Stanford psychologist and longevity expert Dr. Laura Carstensen has found that aging has a positive impact on qualities such as generosity and thoughtfulness, and prefers the term ‘Perennials’. Dr. Carstensen’s findings are perfectly illustrated by Glenda Jackson, an 81-year-old Oscar actress who recently won a Tony. Both Carstensen and Jackson promote the concept that older people have much to share with younger generation, and we’d be unwise to not utilize that resource.