We are excited to bring you the latest installment of our Elder Justice Podcast Series, featuring an interview with writer, speaker, and activist Ashton Applewhite. Through her work, Ashton strives to raise awareness of ageism and inspire people to reconsider negative stereotypes of aging. This is crucial to the elder justice movement because ageist attitudes prevent the proper detection, assessment and response to elder abuse cases.
Our Podcast Series is available on iTunes and features interviews with elder justice professionals from a wide range of disciplines. Our goal is to provide interesting and helpful information about policy, practice, research and education. Interviews are focused on successes and challenges relevant to the elder justice field.
What You’ll Hear in the Podcast
Ashton brings passion and expertise to a lively conversation about some of the intersections of ageism and elder abuse. We discuss the link between ageism and elder abuse, why elder sexual abuse often goes unreported, and why the elder justice movement remains underfunded.
Ashton Applewhite Gets Her Consciousness Raised
An author and journalist, Ashton began writing about aging in 2001, in blog form at This Chair Rocks. She started out by interviewing people over 80 who worked. At the time, she thought she knew what it would be like to “be old,” equating it with depression, disability, and dementia. Yet the more she learned, the clearer it became that she’d bought into the “party line,” and that most of her preconceptions were wrong. For example—much to her surprise—she found study after study showing that people were happiest at the beginnings and the ends of their lives. Of course people experience both physical and emotional losses, but their lives remain very, very much worth living.
Ashton found herself contemplating the discrepancy between our notion of late life and the reality.
She realized that people were so ambivalent about late life because ageism in society drowns out all but the negative about life after 65—or 50, or even just aging past youth. Treated like second-class citizens, older people were missing from the discourse. “Gee,” she wondered, “How come no one’s talking about this?” So she started a question-and-answer blog called Yo, Is This Ageist?, giving a talk called This Chair Rocks: How Ageism Warps Our View of Long Life, and speaking with organizations like ours.
For more information about Ashton, please visit her blog, This Chair Rocks.
Please let us know what you would like to hear about in future podcasts! It’s easy to reach us through our Contact page.
by Cara Kenien, LMSW, MPA, Social Media Manager, NYCEAC