Another Attack on the Aging Population

Views and opinions expressed in Bob’s Blog are solely those of the author and do not purport to reflect the views and opinions of the Office on Aging or its staff. Posted March 8, 2024.

It’s struck the aging population again.

What, you ask?


Yes, It’s raising its head again. If you don’t recall, ageism is defined as

  1. discrimination against persons of a certain age group.
  2. a tendency to regard older persons as debilitated, unworthy of attention, or unsuitable for employment.

You may remember I wrote a post on ageism several years ago.  If you would like to see it, please click here.

Nothing has been done about it since I wrote that post. In fact, Ageism is just as bad or worse now than it was back then.

It flared up again when Joe Biden became president. There have been periodic reports in the news media about lapses in his memory, These say:

  • He confuses leaders of foreign governments with people who have been dead for years.
  • His memory is so bad his staff covers for him.
  • They don’t want him to have press conferences because reporters might see how bad his memory is.
  • When he speaks, he has to stick to what they have written on teleprompters in front of him.
  • They don’t want him to talk to reporters or people without them being present.

Donald Trump has not escaped it.  Here are some of the things said about him:

  • He confused Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi.
  • He said he defeated President Obama in the 2016 when it was Hilary Clinton.
  • He warned that President Biden might lead us into World War 2.

Trump’s opponent, Nikki Haley has said that anyone over 75 who is running for the presidency of the United States should have to pass a mental acuity test before they’re allowed to run for office.

What’s That?

 Anyone over 75 Running for Office Should Have to Take a Mental Acuity Test?

Isn’t Nikki implying that the mental acuity of anyone over 75 is suspect and that all people over 75 have decreased mental capacity.?

What Does That Mean?

Will all people over 75 have to be tested to see how good their memory is? How will this be done? Here are some of the times testing may be required:

  • At renewal of driver’s licenses
  • Prior to voting
  • When opening or closing bank accounts
  • When buying homes, cars and major items
  • Prior to making large investments
  • Prior to purchasing firearms

The next question is . . .

. . . How Frequently Would This Testing be Required?

Would it be annually on their birthday? That may not be frequent enough because mental health can deteriorate quickly.

Would it just be done any time they did one of these things? Would new testing be required if they renewed their drives license last month and they bought a home this month?

Requiring testing like this can open a can of worms.

How Would People 75 and Older React to this?

Personally, I would view it as an unnecessary infringement on my rights. I am sure most people 75 and older would be very offended too.

It’s just another step to make us feel unwanted.  As we retire and get older, it seems many younger people don’t want to have anything to do with us.

Our children want to ship us off to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

There are Senior Centers. However, people have to be 50 and older to get into one. While Senior Centers are good, some people see them as just a way to keep aging people away from younger people.

There are also retirement communities which require people to be over a certain age before they can live there.

Where Does It Stop?

 What Will Aging People Have to Do to Get The Respect of Younger People?

50 or 60 years ago, less people lived beyond 75.  With the advances in medicine, life expectancy has increased dramatically.

More and more people are living far beyond that age. We are starting to see many continue to work well past their 60th birthday. In fact, 60 might be the new 40.

Look at Some of the Well-known Older People Alive Today

In pro football. Bill Bellicick will be 72 in 2024.  Pete Carroll will be 71, In college football, Nick Saban will be 73.  While Nick Saban may stay retired, most probably Bill Bellichick and Pete Carroll will be hired to coach other teams. Is anyone saying they are too old?

Gregg Popovich, the general manager and coach of the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball League is 75 in 2024 and doesn’t show any signs of retiring soon.

Is anyone demanding these coaches take tests to determine their mental acuity?

Let’s look at some of the well-known singers:

  • Brenda Lee will be 80 in 2024 and Dolly Parton and Cher will be 78.
  • Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger are in their 80’s while Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart are 79 in 2024.

Turn to actors:

  • Clint Eastwood is in his 90’s.
  • Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman and Anthony Hopkins are in their late 80’s.
  • Robert Deniro is 81 and Harrison Ford is 82.
  • Steve Martin is a youngster at 79.

No one questions their mental acuity.

 One of the Greatest Investors of All Time is Warren Buffett

In 2024, he will be 94 years old. No one is asking whether he is mentally capable of making the investments he does to generate the profits his company has.

In 1984, Ronald Reagan was running for president against Walter Mondale. Reagan was 73 and Mondale was 56. In one of their debates, Reagan was asked if he was too old to be president.  His response to that was memorable:

“I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

How Big of a Problem is Mental Acuity?

This question of mental acuity in aging people comes up all too frequently. I was curious how big of a problem it is in older people and how many people develop dementia. So, I asked this question on Goggle’s Gemini artificial intelligence platform “How many people in their 80’s have dementia? I was astounded by the response I got:

“According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, the estimated rate of dementia for people between 80 and 89 years old is around 24.2%. This means that roughly one in four people in this age group are estimated to have some form of dementia.”

Nikki Haley Owes the Aging People an Apology

She should apologize for implying all people over 75 may have problems with their mental acuity.

Sadly, there is no way to correct the damage Nikki Haley and the news media have done to the aging population in our country.  Nikki was 52 on her birthday, January 20, 2024.  I hope that when she is 75, she is required to take a mental acuity test.


If you have any comments on what you have read in this post, I would love to know them. Please email them to me. Also – if you have any ideas about subjects you would like to see discussed in future posts, please email me and let me know. My email address is