Defying stereotypes and embracing aging

Amy Gage and her husband David

At 61 years old, St. Paul resident Amy Gage is fully employed, engaged in life and reflecting on what aging means to her.

“The best thing about getting older is perspective,” Amy said. “I am calmer, less ego-driven and more collaborative than I was as a breadwinning young careerist.”

Amy was born and raised in Mankato. She moved to the Twin Cities when she was a teen and eventually moved to Northfield, where she and her husband, David Studer, raised their two sons, Samuel and Nathaniel. Today, she lives with her husband in the Merriam Park neighborhood of St. Paul, within walking distance of her job at the University of St. Thomas.

As a former journalist, current blogger and communications specialist throughout her career, Amy has always had a passion for sharing stories and sparking important conversations. In her blog, “The Middle Stages: Women Reimagine Midlife,” Amy explores “how middle-aged women maximize the benefits of aging” and how “older women [can] embrace aging in society.”

For Amy, the most challenging part of growing older is facing the stereotypes that accompany it. “The stereotypes and assumptions are becoming visible to me,” she said. “Older women are less visible in society.”

She hopes that more Minnesotans will realize that growing older isn’t as limiting as society makes us believe. Soon, more than one million Minnesotans will be 65 or older. Amy said there’s no reason why they should not embrace their senior years. That starts by making connections today.

“Life can still be rich and full,” Amy said. “Individualism lessens, and community becomes more essential.”

As her mother’s primary caregiver during her final years, Amy recognizes that mobility will one day become a challenge.

“I don’t use senior care or services yet, which I attribute in part to my robust good health and strong family support,” Amy said. “But I will likely need aging-in-place support someday like transportation to senior fitness classes and other social activities.”

For now, Amy plans to continue enjoying her career, her volunteer activities and her friendships and hopes that Minnesota will continue to provide quality care for our seniors.

“Hubert Humphrey had a poignant quote about our obligations to folks in the twilight of their lives,” said Amy. “How we treat our children and elders says a lot about who we are as a society.”

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