Here’s two worthwhile pieces on growing old:
How we see growing old is a cultural thing. When I first went to pick out a photo, I decided on the first one of the man running. Because I am a product of my culture, as they say. I see being fit and young and productive as valuable. Especially in our culture, being able to produce is highly valued. That’s why ageism occurs. If you show signs of age, people assume you will produce less. So your value decreases to them.
Then I saw the picture below. In other cultures, being able to sit and converse with your friends is valuable. These people are not being productive. They are not trying to look young. They are being social. They are being human.
I think we have problems in our society because for many the chief purpose of humans is to produce, to be productive. As long as that is true, we will have problems with ageism. True, we need times of our life to be productive, but we also need times for growth, times for rest and reflection. To combine all those times effectively is to live a good life. A life where all humans at all times of their lives are valued.