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Director's Message

January 2014 - Attitudes about Aging

Recently I heard an interview on Radio Times (WHYY) on our attitudes about aging. The guests were Susan Fiske, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and Jay Olshansky, Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As soon as I got to the office, I emailed Dr. Fiske and invited her to speak at PSRC. Come hear her speak about her research on aging and stereotyping on Jan. 15.

Dr Fiske is a social psychologist known for her work on social cognition, stereoptypes, and prejudice. Fiske leads the Fiske Lab at Princeton University and is examining emotional prejudices on the neural, interpersonal and cultural planes. Fiske’s research has resulted in major theories in social psychology.


There is a lot of ageism in our culture. Dr. Fiske noted that age is seen as all about loss, decline and decay. Old people are seen as nice but not competent. Magazines are filled with advertisements for products that will melt age away. Articles present ideas for how to stay young. Even professionals in our field have published materials advocating taking over for parents when they reach age 70. Dr. Olshansky added that oftentimes these attitudes originate in a perceived tension over scarce resources such as money and jobs.


Both guests emphasized that in reality all generations are interdependent. Society needs older people who can share the wisdom they’ve gained from experience along the way. Adapting to changes allow us to grow into old age with a high level of functioning. Research indicates that most people get more cheerful and have a more positive outlook on life as they age.


We may also participate in perpetuating the idea that aging is bad. Carol King, our Next Step Director, recently forwarded a blog post ( to me, entitled “do you want to defy your age?” It was commenting on an AARP article about celebrities it labeled as “age-defying.” The blogger objected to AARP holding up age-defiance as a goal. “No one should think that natural ageing is an illness or health condition that needs to be prevented or corrected.” The blogger argues that we should accept aging rather than trying to defy it, which only causes stress. But at the same time, we should work to counteract the negative health effects of aging by eating properly, exercising mind and body, and getting sufficient sleep.


It seems to me that a healthy community includes people of all ages who have many opportunities to interact and to work together. This provides space for all generations to give from their areas of strength and experience, and for people to get to know each other as individuals rather than lumping people into groups by age (or any other feature) which contributes to stereotyping. Find occasions to demonstrate your strengths and wisdom, as well as spaces to seek assistance from younger people (such as technology). Watch for ways that you buy into the age stereotypes of both older and younger people, and look for ways to break through them. Participate in communities that are intergenerational, such as families, neighborhoods, faith communities, and other civic organizations. Speak up when you hear ageist remarks. Demonstrate pride in your age and all its benefits. Each one of us can make a difference.


Susan W Hoskins, LCSW



Previous Messages

Preferred Caregivers: Daughters

Cues & Clues


GrandPals Celebrate 20 Years!

Multi-generational Households

No One Ages Well Alone

Help at Home


November 2016 Family Caregiving

October 2016 Annual Report

September 2016 Corporate Healthcare

Strategic Planning

Is Your Home Age- Friendly?

May 2016 Director's Message Part 2 - We Need Your Help

May 2016 - Part 1 - Going Solo

April 2016 - Volunteering

March 2016 - Partners In Caring

February 2016 - PSRC's Strategic Plan

January 2016 - Hope

December 2015 - Gratitude

November 2015 - Helicopter Children

October 2015 - Is Princeton An Age Friendly Community?

September 2015 - Annual Report

July & August 2015 - Family and Community

June 2015 - A Gift that Keeps Giving

May 2015 60 Is the New 60

April 2015 - Spring

March 2015 - Being Mortal

February 2015 - Mentoring

January 2015 - Winter Blues

December 2014 - Leaving A Legacy

October 2014 An Age Friendly Future

September 2014 Annual Report

July - August 2014

June 2014 - Romance After 50

May 2014 - Your Virtual Estate

April 2014 - Memory and Forgetting

March 2014 - Aging in Community

Observational Stay

February 2014 - Family Caregiving

January 2014 - Attitudes about Aging

December 2013 - Giving

November 2013 - Healthcare Marketplace

October 2013 - Annual Report 2013

September 2013 - Total Brain Health® Fair

July - August 2013 My cat, My Father and Me

June 2013 - Age Friendly Communities

May 2013 - Navigating a Changing HealthCare Landscape

April 2013 - Becoming Visible

March 2013 - Navigating Life’s Transitions

February 2013 - Partners in Caring Princeton

January 2013 - Men as Caregivers

December 2012 - The Safety Net

November 2012 - Going Solo

October 2012 - Documenting Your History

September 2012 - A Journey of Transformation

July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving

June 2012 - Diversity

May 2012- Aging in America


March 2012 - Patient-centered Care

February 2012 - Can you Spare an Hour?

January 2012 - Challenges & Opportunities

December - Are you Prepared for Emergencies?

November - We need YOU!

October - Chocolate for Memory

September- Looking Back and Looking Forward

July - August 2011; Ageism

June 2011 - Accessibility

May 2011 - Paper retention

Knit Wits, April 2011

Lessons and Legacies, March 2011

Independent Living February 2011

Home Safety January 2011

Witness to my Life December 2010

Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010

Retire in 3D!

Strategic Planning September 2010

Am I Old? July 2010

Memory Clutter June 2010

Aging In America May 2010

Volunteering April 2010

Spirituality March 2010

Estate Planning February 2010

Encore Careers January 2010

Hiring Home Care December 2009

Annual Giving by Sharon Naeole November 2009

Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009

Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind September 2009

A Personal Perspective on Caregiving July/August 2009


Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity April 2009

Write your own obituary March 2009

Hobbies February 2009

Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
January 2009

Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look! December 2008

Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008

Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning October 2008

September 2008 Caregiver Dilemmas

Finding Rhythm and Purpose July/August 2008

Spring Cleaning II June 2008

V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008

Spring Cleaning April 2008

Have You Had the Talk Yet? March 2008

Get Moving with FitRhythms™! February 2008

My Condolences January 2008

Advocacy December 2007

What Are Social Services? November 2007

Sensitive Topics October 2007

Plan for the Future September 2007

The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007

Volunteering June 2007

Strategic Plan May 2007

National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007

Brain Health March 2007

Resiliency February 2007

Transportation January 2007

Season of Giving December 2006

Medicare Part D November 2006

April Hill McElroy October 2006

Civic Engagement September 2006

Change June 2006

White House Conference on Aging May 2006

Hearing Loss April 2006

GrandPals March 2006

Lets Talk February 2006

Eldertopia January 2006

Hoarding December 2005

Annual Report: November 2005

Are You Prepared? October 2005

Planning Ahead October 2005

Watch Your Language September 2005

Medicare Part D Summer 2005

Sue Tillett June 2005

The End of the Journey May 2005

Clutter March 2005

New Dietary Guidelines February 2005

Transitions January 2005

Funding December 2004

Caregiving November 2004

Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004

A New Look September 2004

Safe Driving Summer 2004

Food Safety June 2004

Communication June 2004

The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004

Seniors On The Move April 2004

Depression March 2004

McGreevey February 2004

Medications January 2004

Random Acts of Kindness December 2003

Civic Engagement November 2003

Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003

Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003

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