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Fight Ageism…Live Strong and Healthy!

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Jul 10, 2024

There are Many Positives About Aging!

Ageism is prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age…

While I hesitate to discuss politics, as an aging physical therapist, I feel that it is incumbent upon me to speak out against ageism, especially with so much attention being paid to the age of the candidates in the upcoming US presidential election. Interestingly enough, age seems to be of more concern for President Biden (age 81), than his opponent, former President Trump (age 78), even though there is only 4 years between them. By the way, “Corporate Sages,” Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is 93 years old and Rupert Murdock, CEO of News Corp is 86 years old and their stock holders seem very satisfied! Two local examples of aging with an “A Game” are my 92 year old mentor, Dr. Gino Mori, founder of Delta Medix, who took college classes for enrichment until the age of 90 and Fr. Bernard Mcllhenny, SJ, retired dean of admissions at the University of Scranton, who plays golf (competitively) at least once a week at the age of 98.

It is low hanging fruit to list all the problems associated with age; muscle and bone loss, balance deficits, delayed mental processing, and memory loss to name a few. However, the purpose of this column is to present the positive qualities of the “golden years!”

Wisdom, Wisdom, Wisdom

There are no shortcuts for the assimilation and accumulation of knowledge and wisdom that one acquires over a lifetime and it cannot be taught…only experienced! Not only do older adults know what they know, more importantly, they know what they DON’T know! Moreover, they know how to use this knowledge efficiently and effectively. This is referred to as “crystallized intelligence” and it keeps improving with age…even at 65-75 and more.

Steady Eddie

While the term “Grumpy Old Men/Women” makes for good TV, the reality is that most of us get more agreeable, likable and consistent with age. Older people are less volatile, control their emotions and tend to focus more on the important things in life.


With age, people tend to be less egocentric and more in tune with the feelings and emotions of others. Using this acquired insight, one can foster a more cooperative and productive solution to problems with friends, family and coworkers.

Improved Sex Life

Quality over quantity with age! Studies show that women over 40 and much older have improved sexual satisfaction when compared to their youth. Moreover, women over 80 were more satisfied with sex than those between 55 and 75! Go figure!

Enjoy the Sunrise

Whether you like it or not, there is a good chance that you will become a “morning person” with age. As sleeping patterns change, including sleep interruptions, we tend to go to bed earlier and rise and shine with the sun. The good news is that you can start your day early to “suck the marrow” out of the day.

Headaches Are Over

Most migraine sufferers report little to no headaches after age 70. And, for older adults who experience headaches, they tend to be less painful and debilitating.

Have a Purpose

Studies show that early retirement may not be good for your health. The Longevity Project that people who continue to be productive, have purpose, and enjoy their work, live the longest. So maybe, Biden and Trump want the POTUS job in order to stay healthy!

Fear Not

While older adults may fear falling and breaking a bone, they don’t have the same fears and concerns that distract many younger people. With age, self-esteem and confidence improves and with wealth, education, good health and a sense of purpose, these qualities increase exponentially. According to the American Psychological Association, while more young people report high stress levels, older Americans report less. And, even when encountering a stressful situation, older people have learned coping methods to manage it better than younger people. 


We can waste our time debating the potential problems with an aging POTUS, however, we must decide between two candidates that will be octogenarians while in office. With that in mind, we must focus on the potential for solid, honest, dedicated, effective and productive leadership to guide us through the next four years. Research has shown that the workforce is aging worldwide and older workers are a critical component to overall productivity in an age of worker shortages. A thorough assessment of the literature related to the productivity of an aging workforce shows that older workers are at least as productive and in some cases (that does not require heavy labor), are more productive than their younger coworkers. In great part, this is attributed to the aforementioned positive aspects of aging such as “crystallized intelligence”. In view of this, ageism has no place in the workplace because older workers can and do keep up.

SOURCES: National Institutes of Health; Mayo Clinic, WebMD

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This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email:

Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy in Scranton and Clarks Summit. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. For all of Dr. Mackarey's articles, visit our exercise forum!