Clinical Conversations

The “I’m too old for that” excuse is getting old!


Our world is getting older by the day.  Our planet is currently inhabited by the greatest number of old people in recorded history. That’s right, “the number of people aged 65 years or over is increasing at a faster rate globally than the total population growth.” (Kaneda et al, 2011)

Our elderly population is a tribute to society’s prosperity and medical advancements. Shouldn’t we be celebrating the success of our medical breakthroughs that have allowed more and more people to surviving into their senior years?  Sadly, instead of reverence for our elderly, a social phenomenon known as ageism is putting an ugly tarnish on those golden years. (Matthews, 2015)

What is ageism? Wikipedia defines ageism as: “stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.” The most devastating form of ageism is self-imposed.  Here are some common examples of self-ageism phrases:

“When I was younger, I could have done that, but now…”

“I think I just hurt because it’s part of getting old and feeling my years.”

“I’m too old to learn something new. You just can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

Ageism can lead people to resign to their injuries rather than seeking to heal from them.  This resignation leads quickly to loss of independence, loss of mobility, social isolation, etc.  The next time you hear yourself or a loved one make an ageism remark, I hope you will reply: “If you’re so old, you’re old enough to know better!”

Stop delaying recovery and healing, and get proactive.  If these are your golden years, your health is precious! Protect yourself by getting the help you need in a timely manner.  Nick Rinard Physical Therapy is here for you!

  • Margo Burette, PT, DPT