Stop dehumanizing old people by using the phrase "grey tsunami"
We have been warned, for years, of a so-called "grey tsunami" that is about to crash into our society.
As lifespans lengthen and birthrates drop, the percentage of Canadians over the age of 65 is growing rapidly.
This represents a challenge for hospitals, nursing homes and families. And it comes with significant costs.
Describing this demographic shift as a "grey tsunami" — with its terrifying image of a monstrous wave poised to break over our heads — is striking and urgent.
That's why we in the media use the term so often.
She believes it is emblematic of a larger problem: dehumanizing attitudes are built into the words we use to talk about aging.
As the founder of Canada's first undergraduate program in Health Humanities, she is using literature and the arts to encourage her students — many of whom want to become doctors — to imagine a different story about what it means to grow old.
Click 'listen' above to hear the full interview.