Rethinking How to Handle this Age Issue

I’ve had second thoughts about my last post: “How to Handle this Age Issue,” where I decided that the best way for me to deal with being an older woman was to ignore my age.

That decision nagged at me so I did a little research.

I reread an essay that I had saved from the New York Times on April 30, 2019 written by Paula Span titled: “Ageism Is a ‘Prevalent and Insidious’ Health Threat.” Span listed research studies that show that believing in negative stereotypes can have an effect on an older’s person’s health and function, such as an increase in dementia. However, older folks who have a positive attitude toward aging “experience less depression and anxiety. They live longer.”

She goes on to say that “(i)t’s not always easy to find the balance between shrugging off offensive messages and counterproductive scolding . . . .” when speaking against agism. I can certainly relate to that. I describe, in my last post, how I reacted to an ageist comment by a Weight Watcher representative. Definitely counterproductive.

Paula Span gives us a great resource: Old School: An Anti-Aging Clearinghouse.

I found this two minute presentation while visiting Old School that now convinces me that I will tell my age.

By Marianna Crane

After a long career in nursing--I was one of the first certified gerontological nurse practitioners--I am now a writer. My writings center around patients I have had over the years that continue to haunt my memory unless I record their stories. In addition, I write about growing older, confronting ageism, creativity and food. My memoir, "Stories from the Tenth Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers" is available where ever books are sold.


  1. I am 64 years old. Recently, I have been giving alot of thought to aging gracefully and joyfully. How shall I serve in my elder years? I am seeking to embrace my inner “crone” (I really do love that word!) I have been listening to an audio series by Clarissa Pinkola Estes—The Dangerous Old Woman; The Power of the Crone; How to be an Elder; and The Joyous Body. Dr. Estes is truly helping me to view aging in a really special way. Especially as a woman.

    Marianna, I value your thoughts and perspectives here. I love the idea of “be bold, claim old”. This phrase is now a post it note on my computer terminal. And I proudly tell people how old I am and will continue to do so. Many thanks to you…..Jane


    1. Thanks for your comment, Jane. I, too, like the word “crone.” It sounds to me like a snarky older woman who doesn’t give a damn. I intend to check into the audio series by Estes.


  2. I always flinched when as a young woman my mother would say “Why do you tell them your age?” I never felt good about that and did not comply.
    So, I am glad you are telling your wonderful age and I will continue too!


  3. I love that you are telling your age! I am too. My mother was always aghast that I would so easily tell my age — she was from another generation. “Why do you tell your age” she would crow. I always felt uncomfortable with her advice to keep it secret.


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