What’s in a phrase -aging parents
I'm continuing to receive google alerts for news items dealing with aging parents. As I looked through all the articles and blogs, it occured to me that the phrase -aging parents- could have the same problem as a phrase I REALLY dislike - the elderly. "The elderly" bothers me because elderly is not a noun it is a descriptive term. When used as a noun it immediatly lumps individuals into a catagory based solely on age, and implies that frailty and other problems are the result of aging. I wince when I read that "the elderly need this","the elderly think that", or "this is good for the elderly". Considering the vast individual differences in people of any age group (imagine lumping the middle-aged into a single catagory), it makes no sense to assume the majority of people over a certain age are suddenly more the same than different. So I have to ask myself if the same holds true for the phrase aging parents.
When I post a blog it asks me to identify a catagory. Clearly there has to be some method for interested parties to find information on their topic of choice. However, I want to make something really clear. In my opinion age really is just a number that has less to do with who a person is, and what they are capable of, than almost any other factor you could name. As I provide practical strategies to help parents and adult children create a culture and partnership of well-being I will continually ask you to take age out of the equation. Therefore, I will give more thought to every descriptive phrase I use to make sure my message is consistent.
Now I'm curious. What does the phrase aging parents imply to you?