By Di Patterson, December 2, 2021
It’s Back-to-School again, and I’m writing this blog to encourage all students of Aging Studies and the world’s budding new Gerontologists who want to have vibrant careers while serving the population we love: older adults and their families. We all learn as we go along... so keep showing up!
In 2021 and beyond, keep refining your skills and focus the passion you began with. Every job or experience you can add to your “toolkit” within our Aging Studies field adds to your expertise. Be one of the Gerontologists who is ever-seeking to find answers to questions like: “How do we age more successfully?”; “What is “success in aging (an active engagement with life)” in a particular individual?” and “What application of Gerontology fits what I do best?” Here are a few thoughts:
Ship it imperfect is a business concept that means getting to the Marketplace earlier than later is important. Apple iPhones employ this strategy; that’s why Apple cheerfully upgrades its technology to customers. Buzz is all about getting to the Marketplace first.
Fix it in the mix is a music-studio term meaning that the music editor can cut and splice imperfections out of the finished track. Movies and taped TV shows employ the same strategy; that’s why “live” awards shows are tricky (reality is not always pretty to watch).
Photoshop is both a computer program and technique employed to correct minor (and sometimes major) imperfections in photos, and Photoshop it is a term meaning to clean-up imperfections before that product is viewed by the general public.
These are terms that most of us understand and can apply judiciously. Although I recoil at “ship it imperfect”, “fix it in the mix” and “Photoshop it” as the “usual and customary” way of doing business, most caregivers will tell you that quick, solid solutions are really important for short-term human-needs problems that could become permanent without intervention. A 24-hour stop-gap measure in fall prevention, proper nutrition or a housing situation can be crucial.
Find your place in “the sunshine of your love” (oh, I can hear Eric Clapton and Cream in the background!) in whatever area of Aging you choose (senior housing, exercise, nutrition: the list goes on!) in helping older and much older people age well. It’s what we Gerontologists do best!
And remember that you cannot truly make decisions for your elderly loved ones or anyone else who is older until you have faced your own aging hopes and fears. One day, you will be old, and it's better to start thinking about it and make some resolutions for yourself earlier than later.
So keep showing up…it’s not only your life and your career. You have a unique chance to improve the lives of many older adults and the younger people they love. Blessings!
©Di Patterson, CPG: “No one WANTS to age, but EVERYONE wants to AGE WELL!”