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'Disrupt Aging:' Myth-Busting About Growing Older in Michigan

Many people are living their so-called "golden years" much differently than generations past.(Funk Dooby/Flickr)
Many people are living their so-called "golden years" much differently than generations past.
(Funk Dooby/Flickr)
July 6, 2016

LANSING, Mich. - Aging doesn't have to mean fading into the sunset. As more people live longer and healthier lives, AARP is working to "disrupt aging" by changing attitudes about growing older.

Almost one in five Michigan residents is age 60 or older, and Jennifer Munoz, associate state director for outreach at AARP Michigan, said aging is one of life's biggest contradictions: Everyone wants to live a long life, but no one wants to get old. She said that's because of misconceptions that aging is something to be dreaded.

"People perpetuate the ageist language by saying, 'I'm too old for that,' or 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks.' Even something that sounds good — when you say, 'You look good for your age' — is really kind of an ageist language," she said.

People in their 60s through 90s have plenty of potential and opportunities for growth and development, Munoz said, and many are living their so-called "golden years" much differently than generations past. She said the goal of AARP's Disrupt Aging campaign is to change the conversation and showcase the positive aspects of what aging can mean.

Health and financial security are important factors in living your best life, said Munoz, along with a focus on "self" and reconnecting with what you enjoy most.

"It's about reinventing your career or taking charge of your future, and doing things and picking up the passions of life and making something of your life that you may have not been able to conquer at this point," she said. "But now, you've got the time to do it, if you're retired or working only part-time."

She said people in Michigan can learn how to become "age disrupters" and share their own stories online at aarp.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI