Jamie, 24 yrs

Dec 18th 2022

“I’m currently doing a Master’s degree in human ecology. My thesis focuses on the use of communication technologies among older adults to maintain social connections. I consider myself to be an aging advocate. My biggest influence is my family, they are the whole reason I chose a career in this field. It’s also because of the type of person I am. If something’s not right, I’m going to stand up for it.

I was born to older parents. When I was a kid, my mom already had gray hair, so when she came to pick me up from school, my classmates would say, 'your grandma is here to pick you up'. A lot of people think old age is bad and will do anything to avoid it. I had a professor that said that ageism is the last -ism that we’ve yet to see real change in. Racism, sexism, etc. - none of this is okay, but ageism is somehow still acceptable in a lot of different sectors.

I am a part of the GeriActors and Friends Theatre company, where once a week, university students and older adults over 65 get together to talk, play drama games, and tell stories. These stories eventually become plays about our lives. I get why they call it GeriActors and Friends because you really do become friends with these older adults. They have so much to offer and are so wise.

A big presence in my life is my grandmother. My most memorable memories of her are a collection of conversations over the years sitting around at her kitchen table and talking about anything and everything for hours at a time. I think intergenerational interactions are very important. The more you’re exposed to aging throughout your life, the more normal it becomes, and the better you’re prepared when it happens to you.

I’m not afraid of growing old. I’m more afraid of not getting the chance to grow old. I don’t think I want to be any different when I’m older. Perhaps just a smarter, wiser, and better version of myself. I am proud of who I am right now, and I envision that being even better in the future. I’m looking forward to finishing my degree and making a difference in the world.”