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PSY 180 - Psychology of Aging - Textbook


Exceeding Expectations: One Year. One City. 20 Lives.

© 2015 by Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health. All rights reserved.


"Average life expectancy in New York City is 81. And yet, our societal expectations of people in later life are low, acceptable roles are limited and images of aging are often one-dimensional.

In 2015, we searched far and wide for 20 New Yorkers from all different circumstances and backgrounds who have both exceeded life expectancy and who are disrupting commonly-held expectations of what it means to grow old.

For the past two years, we have introduced you to a woman who cares for her 1-year-old great-granchild in a country unfamiliar to her, a man who was in prison for 30+ years and is trying to make up for lost time and an optometrist who has retired four times but keeps returning to work.

The project, through writing, photography and video, explores how people find purpose in later life and how their environment and circumstances make it easier or more challenging to do so. Their stories are filled with mystery, drama, wisdom and search for meaning."

Follow the link to continue reading the original stories, watch videos, see pictures, and get updates on the 20 featured New Yorkers.