Monday, June 12, 2017

Role Models for Aging (Research, Video 2:05)

Do you have a role model for aging? Many young, middle-aged, and older adults do. Their role models are people they admire and want to emulate in their own aging. In a study on role models for aging, there were 150 people ages 18-99 who were asked if they had role models for aging and why. Results showed 85% indicating that they had at least one. Who are these people who play such important roles in the lives of others?

1) Most role models are family members such as parents and grandparents. Those with family role models had more positive views on aging.

2) Role models usually share the same gender as the people choosing them.

3) Role models promote successful aging.

With the average life expectancy continuing to extend to later years, we can all learn something from the increasing group of older adults living beyond 100 years and living well. These centenarians enjoy sharing their secrets. While genetics can play a role, there are several suggestions many of the centenarians agree we can do that are easy to incorporate into our personal lifestyles. Check them out in this video:

Frances Shani Parker, Author of Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.


  1. I think a great way to develop positive role models for aging is for teens to volunteer in long term care facilities. With families living so far apart these days, many teens don't have the opportunity to develop close relationships with grandparents. Long term residents can help fill in this gap.

  2. Diane, I think that is a great suggestion. You are right about so many families being scattered these days. By volunteering, teens will also experience the benefits of win-win service and exposure to possible healthcare careers they may not have considered. My first volunteer experience in a nursing home took place as part of a service organization when I was in high school. Growing up, I was fortunate in knowing both my grandmother and great grandmother well.

    As a teacher and later as a school principal, I encouraged partnerships between schools and nursing homes both locally and nationally. These partnerships became part of the school curriculum in the form of service-learning, a teaching and learning approach that connects the curriculum with meeting real community needs. In our preschool - 8th grade school of 650 students, ALL staff and students performed service-learning. Several classes were involved with nursing homes and senior centers. You can read more about how staff and students wrote grants and did research on nursing home residents at this link titled "Intergenerational Service-Learning: Student-Nursing Home Research on Stereotypes:"

    Thank you for commenting, Diane. I wish you happy endings.