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Our Better Health     November 6, 2014

The world is full of stereotypes. Some are born from over-generalized kernels of truth, while others are more like misguided myths gone wild. And, at some point in our lives, we’ve all experienced the effects of stereotyping.

One of the most pervasive stereotypes in modern North America is that of the frail older adult. Once a person ages beyond the apex of the proverbial hill, it’s almost as if society collectively gives them a shove, sending them tumbling down the other side, towards death. Advocates for the elderly have been fighting against this perception for decades.

Overturning this stereotype is about more than just changing minds, it could also be an effective way to lessen the damaging economic and health care effects of North America’s rapidly aging population. New research from the Yale School of Public Health has found that encountering positive messages about…

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