TORONTO, Ontario / Canadian Broadcasting Centre (CBC.ca) / Books / April 15, 2011
But according to Susan Jacoby, that's a big fat lie — an empty, misleading promise that doesn't include the less-appealing realities of getting older.
"Most of this glorification of the new old age is about people who are in their relatively very healthy, vigorous 60s and 70s," Jacoby explained in a recent interview on Q. "What happens if you live into your mid-80s [...] is that an increasing number of health problems and financial problems make your life very different than in the 60s and 70s."
The idea of 90 as the new 50 is nothing more than an elaborate marketing ploy, Jacoby says. It's a way to sell "age-defying" products from face creams to fitness equipment to aging boomers who are eager to lap up the message: work out, eat well, moisturize and win the prize of extended youth. The problem is, Jacoby points out, you can't cheat the clock.
"Old age is something you can't defy. You can live it as well as you can — exercising, eating well, keeping your mind active as long as possible — but that won't help you if you fall in the unlucky number of people who simply get worse physically as they get older."
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