Media depictions of “golden agers” may appear positive at first glance but can also be damaging, according to a new report from the Centre for Ageing Better. They suggest individuals are “responsible for their own ageing trajectories”, partly through lifestyle choices. “Not achieving these idealised portrayals is to fail at ageing – and implies individuals are to blame. Moreover, the ‘golden agers’ narrative and imagery doesn’t apply to the oldest people in society who remain invisible.” As a result, “ageing itself becomes a disease to be stopped, rather than a lifelong natural process”. One study quoted in the report showed older people with more positive self perceptions of ageing lived 7.5 years longer, even after accounting for factors such as their own age, health and socioeconomic status.

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