The New Yorker calls them “the oldest old” — people aged 85 and above. It isn’t exactly a flattering term, but it makes the columnist’s point: most people younger than that age have a hard time grasping what it could possibly be like to be that old.
Popular media relies on two stereotypes: the cantankerous geriatric and the flighty eccentric. New Yorker columnist Ceridwen Dovey recently realized just how powerful those stereotypes are. In trying to create a new novel with an octogenarian protagonist, the author kept slipping into those archetypal modes, quite by accident.
Upon further investigation, though, Dovey discovered that there’s really nothing uniform about old age. It’s a different experience for everyone who goes through it.
Maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, do any of us ever experience anything in life in exactly the same way? Why should aging be any different?
In realizing that, we should also note that old age can be a better experience for some people than others. Much of that has to do with how carefully we’ve planned for our latter years. Happiness is often earned by preparation.
One of my passions in life is helping people create a reliable, well-protected future for themselves — right on into old age. That’s what my Middlesex County elder law practice is all about. I’d like to help you make the best of yours. Call me or contact me online to set up an easy, confidential consultation. I’d love to chat.