Reimagining ‘ageing’ - Why Now?

Written by Hannah

Our experience of time passing, which is the same as saying our ‘ageing’, is a crucial dimension of our identity, and how we make sense of our lives. We are human-shaped containers of life which are born, live, and then die, in one continuous stream. It’s the way it always has been, and it is good.

Time passing; our chronological age, isn’t the only way in which our age is measured. Some social and medical definitions of age include five different ways of aging, our chronological, our biological (how good our organs are), psychological, functional and social. It’s possible that I might have a chronological age of 45 but a psychological age of 60. So what age am I?

Despite the innate rightness of being alive in the dimension of time, we have many fears about our own ageing and we hold stereotyped ideas about other people who inhabit particular age buckets (eg teenagers, millennials or baby boomers) which limit and shape what we believe them to be and to be capable of. This spills out into discrimination in the workplace, discrimination in health care, self-limiting beliefs which shorten our life expectancy, poor mental health, anxiety about birthdays, and a set of social structures which limit what we can access to specific age segments instead of accessing them when they can do us the most good.

There is reimagining to be done to re-claim ageing for what it is: a dynamic and shifting identity which is with us throughout our lives.

There is reimagining to be done to reconnect us to different generations and experiences in a way which is mutually enlivening.

Our reimagining ageing work has been challenging the dominant imaginaries of ageing since 2015 in the hope of releasing individuals and communities to feel alive and connected.

A three horizons approach to Reimagining Ageing