Senior Moments from H.O.M.E.

5 antidotes to ageism to watch

Posted by Janet Takehara on Aug 22, 2016 3:34:28 PM

That couple unaccompanied by kids at the last animated movie you saw? It could easily have been my husband and me. I am not saying our sense of humor is less than mature, but we do enjoy an angst-free laugh-fest now and again.


So when we went to see “The Secret Life of Pets” recently, we felt like we had hit the jackpot when the short “Mower Minions” preceded the feature. In the film, the Minions offer their (dubious) lawn care talents to a retirement home. My heart sank when I saw the name of the home – Fuzzy Memories. 

I acknowledge that I may be more sensitive to ageism than those who do not work in the aging field but, really? The writer and director couldn’t come up with a less stereotyped name? 

That got me thinking about other depictions of seniors in the media that are realistic or age-positive or both. These five antidotes (mostly) bust ageist stereotypes and offer humor, struggle, inspiration, fear and courage – i.e., the elements of life at any age! 

MV5BMjIzNzAxNjY1Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDg4ODQxMzE._V1_SY1000_CR006741000_AL_.jpg“Still Alice”:

In its depiction of a linguistics professor (played by Julianne Moore) who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’sdisease, this film neither beautifies the main character nor ignores the lessons she and her family learn from her struggle. As noted by Margaret Manning of Sixty and Me, “Life after 50 should be a time for exploring our passions and spending time with the people that we love. Still Alice reminds us to do both.”

“Grace and Frankie”:

The title characters of this Netflix original (played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, respectively) form an unlikely, frequently uneasy and often hilarious bond when their husbands announce that they have been far more than law partners for the last 20 years. Grace and Frankie do not always embrace the resulting changes without reservations, but they do possess a lot of verve and heart. The series is also notable for the powerhouse quad of seasoned performers at its center – Fonda, Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston.Grace-and-Frankie-Netflix-Original-Cast.png

“Gen Silent”:

This documentary illuminates what the film’s website describes as “an epidemic:  gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender older people so afraid of discrimination by caregivers or bullying by other seniors that many simply go back into the closet.”  The film follows six LGBT elders as they decide whether to hide who they are and who they love or have loved to protect themselves in the long-term care system. Hope arrives in the form of “impassioned people trying to change LGBT aging for the better”. 282787297_640.jpg

“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”:

A who’s who of British screen and stage actors portray expats who leave the UK behind for a more affordable and luxurious retirement. But the Marigold is not precisely a five-star hostelry and India itself is both more and less than they expected. The range of responses evoked in the retirees (from excitement to horror, from opening up to shutting down) is one of the film’s strengths. Special bonus for those experiencing severe Downton Abbey withdrawal: both Maggie Smith (the Dowager Countess) and Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley) are in the cast.

download-5.jpgNike Iron Nun ad:

And finally, a Nike ad you may have seen during the recent Rio Olympics broadcasts, featuring the amazing Sister Madonna Buder, AKA the Iron Nun.


I love everything about this commercial…except, that is Nike’s sullying of their message with the title “Unlimited Youth”. Why not "Unlimited Inspiration at ANY Age?"

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