Why are we afraid to talk about old age

In Russian language there is an acceptable and correct form of address for an elderly person: for example, the words "grandma" and "grandpa" rather indicate kinship, and the "old man" and "woman" often have a negative connotation.


Svetlana Fayn,journalist, coordinator of the "Friends of the community of Sant'egidio"

To call a person over a certain age? I have done this is absolutely not a representative survey — the first among my friends from the boarding house for veterans of work, and then among friends younger. What to say to the older generation:

— How to call? "An old man"?

— No, listen, "old", "obsolete" is horrible.

— "The elderly"? It is neutral.

— No, it's not neutral, it's official

— Maybe "grandma"?

— What do you mean, excuse me, grandma? I'm a grandmother to their grandchildren only.

The "old man"?

Well, ironically... But no, no, not "old man."

The younger people joined active imagination: "Mature", "wise", "aged people", "men retro", "Prigorodnyy", "people of the Golden age".

Language reflects culture, and we have problems with the place of older people in society. The elderly, the elderly even in the dictionary feeling antsy. And we when talk and think about our old age, do not find a place. Here is my poll to see how people are torn. Dealing primarily in reaction to these words. Why are they perceived as offensive? Why my friend at the thought that after 30 years in the bus somebody about it will tell: "Give place to the old lady!" — comes in horror and awe? Because old age is associated with problems and weakness? But, excuse me, but with babies how many problems? And with teenagers? And nothing. Maybe because old age is associated with lack of future, with a kind of dead end? All these words that speak of old age, becoming the focus of all kinds of negative stereotypes, some negative category is just old, sick, unwanted, worthless, lonely, confused. The words about old age are universal and very deep fears. Moreover, the paradoxical fears. Because we all, on the one hand, I want to live longer, but are afraid of old age.

The society also has a tendency to separate the elderly from others, to collect them somewhere in the ghetto and to take care of them. OEM pensions of retired workers, SSC — social service centres. Sometimes there's even a well cared for, sing songs under the accordion. Although appropriate now (if not already up) a generation older, which it is not clear why you need to sing to the accordion if all the youth, they sang to the guitar.

From my point of view, our task is not to invent some corporateconnect words and thus give people a place in society. In my opinion, with the desire to do something with words denoting old age, is a desperate attempt to deny this very old age, with its weakness and its value. As if all the same, it's like what 18, that 80 — still. As if old people like children. But the old man did as children! It is the desire for eternal youth: from the face to remove wrinkles and of language to erase the words. But we need to recognize old age, to call it by its name and, I think, to rehabilitate. Tone, to be honest, too, must change. Because if I say with love, then whatever I say will be fine. But if I say with irritation and look at the person as a burden, it can be exquisitely polite, but still understand everything.

Culture building occurs primarily through human interaction. And then it is not "grandma", this is not a "person of advanced age", and Valentina, Ludmila or Larisa Sergeevna. Because generations change, but the name remains something very very important. In the name of individuality. And old people sometimes even start to cry when they are called by name. Because if I call you by name, so you're important to me personally. You're not a category, you're human. This gives you the incentive to live.

Tell your favorite story. Come once to the hospital to see one of our beloved grandmother, who is dying (she died the next day). It is very bad, and I start to fuss around, and she's lying and something is trying to tell me, the voice is almost there already: "I love poetry". And I even know what: Marya Fedorovna always said that there are a lot of good poetry, better than Pushkin but still no one. I stop and start reading to her Pushkin. Because she is who? A dying old woman, or Maria Feodorovna, the connoisseur of poetry? It is important to stop and see the person. Then there are other connotations associated with old age. Age becomes associated with wisdom, maturity and depth, with some special beauty (to be honest, people in old age are often more beautiful than youth, I know a lot). Then through the loneliness we see the art to communicate and appreciate the communication, and through the inability to remember what happened five minutes ago, the living history and memory that permeates the decade. So many elderly people out of the experience of life, of pain, of loneliness, of emptiness is born days such a powerful ability to love that it, indeed, can call to life.


Alexander timofeevskiy, a poet and writer I can't in this business to understand and realize: there's a 13-year-old, 20-year, 40-year, 50-year-old. I will be in a month was 83 years old, and I don't want to feel old, I'm not interested. It is unknown who when old age begins. Lenin 50 years, called the old man, Maximilian Voloshin in 54 years have been profound old man, in the time of Pushkin people in 40 years have been elderly. When old age starts? And why does a person need some kind of rank? Just "dear sir". You can refer to older people: dear lady, dear sir — and all, no problems.

The other thing is family. Here at family fun for children — grandparents, because they are more free, they can give the child more affection than mom or dad that all the time at work. Therefore, grandparents and grandchildren all the time expecting it, the joy of meeting, communication. But, my dear, none of you I do not grandfather! It so happened that we have, unfortunately, not related.

I think we should start with buying a horse, and then engaged in the harness and bridle. What "horse" in this case? This is a normal, bearable life for the elderly. Ideally, I would have done nursing homes and home creative recreation. Because the elderly definitely need creativity, and they may someone to teach. The main thing that makes a in old age is work. While you work, you live. And, of course, communication. It is necessary because we lose friends, and this is the worst thing that can happen.

And don't need new words — you can just change the letters! Instead of old age are negligent, should be treated carefully. See: one letter changed, and everything fell into place. Old age does not have to be miserable — it must be rich and everything will be fine. Senile age, especially in our country, is, of course, not ideal, but a difficulty that must be overcome. The difficulties should be treated with a smile. For example, as I said, "you Know what old age? Retirement — when in the heart of the ice. Vodka of the holiday left, but nobody drinks". It is necessary to smile.

Dmitry Vodennikov is a poet and essayist

I really do not like the current discourse and the present time is the fact that it is very compassionate. When I say cruelty, I don't mean that we need to approach and kick the defenseless, to insult someone. Just for some reason we really began to feel sorry for myself. I think this path will lead us to more weakness.

I believe that this is hypocrisy — to discuss how we need to call the old woman. "The lady of old age" is hypocrisy, "dear lady" is hypocrisy. "Grandma" is, indeed, to some extent, a reference to family relations. But it seems to me that the "old woman" and "man" is very strong, a good Russian word. Tatyana Bek was a poem, "I'm an honest woman." I'm sure Anna Akhmatova generally calm attitude to the fact that it was called the old woman. Bella Akhmadulina, who I met twice, he called himself old. "Only old age is lacking. The rest is done" — written, by the way, it is not in old age, and when she was 40. And when she was old, she said: "Now, when I read these verses, I say, "perfect is lacking, the rest is already done", because, sorry, old age — what there is, plenty". If I live, I would not like to be called boy elegant age.

You know, nothing makes you cough as the Internet. I once when walking, photographed some absolutely beautiful woman: she was very dry, thin, bright skirts, a girl with short, wide sleeves, and a withered, wrinkled naked tanned hands were very beautiful bracelets.It was amazing, it was possible to fall in love! I wrote: "Saw a beautiful woman." My God, what happened! "Why do you say that? What is she a old lady?!" But she was old, she was in her 70s! It seems to me that there is nothing worse than this verbal bigotry.

It is clear that there are some words that we should not use: we should not call a black man — a nigger, a homosexual — queer, woman — girl, for example. But there are some things that I think is worth fighting for.

We are trying to replace the most natural word for old age. A "man" and "woman" are words that need to brush away the cobwebs of hypocrisy.

photo ©Ari Seth

Maria Galina, writer, poet, Deputy head of the Department of criticism and publication of magazine "New world" we did not developed normal language to any person. In addition to the age marking, in General, nothing exists: the boy — young man — man, girl — woman, then go to grandma and grandpa. This is not normal, and more or less adequate countries there are General forms of address: "sir", "Madam", "Mrs.". Pani can be 20 years, maybe 70 years — she's still a lady. We don't have that. But what's interesting? When we call the elderly woman a girl, she says: "Ah!" and when we call her grandma, she gets very upset. Let's look at the truth. We have a connotation of old age is negative. I'm afraid that we, unfortunately, can't be done, because old age in the course of our lives is a phenomenon that is really sad.

But we can differently to treat this. I have to say that I, first, atheist second, a biologist by training and, thirdly, professionally engaged in the analysis of science fiction.

There was a story at the time, one of the authors first hand about some planet where very long lived sentient beings. They contain small Pets loved them, but at some point, 20-30 years, these animals began as something strange to be sick. They fell out wool, faded look, they were made weak and eventually died. A deadly disease. A scientist who started to investigate this deadly disease, opened old age. Thus, we can accept that old age is a form of biological illness. Disease several species.

We know of creatures that do not age. It's not just single-celled is Pisces. Who saw the old fish? They simply grow. Who has seen an old turtle? They do not grow old and paid for it with a slow metabolism. There are animals that age more slowly than humans: an elephant three to four times in my life are changing teeth. We have ways to perceive old age as a disease, treat it accordingly and deal with it like a disease.

Why old age is especially tragic now? Old people broadcast experience young. They are taught to hone a stone chisel, spread the network, to set traps. Old men were living gods, the drives experience. What happens now? The elderly ceased to be a translators experience. Now the young teach the old chat with Facebook, with Skype, with gadgets. The situation is completely turned over. In archaic societies the man respect, because he is the head of the clan. We have this, we have traditionally in Soviet time the person was seen as a cog, as part of the system: while it works, it is useful as soon as stops working is useless.

We are faced with a very serious problem. From my point of view, it is absolutely unsolvable: it is a condescending charity, and nothing more. We will certainly need all the efforts of the society to the elderly happily lived, prospered. But it takes a different, more radical solution to this problem. It is the development biology, in progress, which will help people to stay full longer, young, healthy. This development of medicine, pharmacology, genetic engineering. Unfortunately, in our society, a specific society is not at that stage to now to resolve such a problem, given that we have banned GMO products. That is, I believe, much more important topic of conversation than what language to speak about old age.

  Hope Yadavwriter, Director of the Studio "Synchron Production"

We did for one of the channel project, which was called "old Age". Was leading psychotherapists: they developed the training, and we held it for the participants. I must say that when we were looking for heroes, we invite people of all ages, but in the end the project was only women (from 28 to 69 years). For example, there was such task: we have gathered photos of all the participants, took a very simple computer program that Solarium facial features, shows how it will presumably look like in old age. Now, there was one character early 50s, very active woman. When she saw how it treated her face, she said, "I think your program is wrong." Moreover, it was confused, not because she saw the wrinkles and the expression: "No, I can not be this arrogant evil person." And it is very characteristic, because it just reinforced those facial wrinkles that were in the photo. Apparently, the woman was faced with the fact that it is, but it very hard to admit. I think it is very important this question, which in psychology is called "self-acceptance".

I think in our society there are many misconceptions about psychology and psychotherapy. And they are very tenacious, especially among vulnerable people who, because of age, face problems. Their whole life was in a situation when the profession of "psychologist" was not. From the root "psycho" was only one Association — a psychiatrist, and she was labeled as superobama: if you go to a psychiatrist, your life (regardless of how old you are) can simply break down, you get back to work and be an outcast. This perception is now, with people of all ages. And really, there's a chance to cater to either a charlatan, or someone who is formally fulfilling its responsibilities — for example, being on some government work.

I as a documentarian, as someone who works with this subject and deals with the education, I consider it significant that a very important category, which is in psychology, remain in the language, and in our minds something conditional, stationery, pseudo-scientific. For example, the boundaries of identity — what is it? On the Russian literary language is somehow not sounds, but if we examine what it is, we will see that this is a crucial concept. It includes respect for themselves and others, to people of different ages, understanding where the area of my responsibility, where I do not need to intervene. This is a very important thing that is seldom taught in families which do not speak in school.

If we are dealing with an older man, you can just figure out how he wants to be called: by my name or not, what kind of relationship he wanted. In our society, destroyed the social rituals — who's talking to who, what is appropriate and expected and what is not. Not only is communication with older people, it permeates all spheres of life. And the theme of fear and powerlessness before death is also not directly related to age, it relates to worldview. The boundary between the system of values and respect, communication, social rituals are very important. Unfortunately, the elderly increased evaluation culture that does not respect the boundaries of the individual. But what we can give to these people, depends on our literacy and what we consider valuable for yourself.published


P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©

Source: theoryandpractice.ru/posts/14953-kakaya-ya-vam-prostite-babushka-pochemu-my-boimsya-govorit-o-starosti


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