When 78-year-old Lois Perelman's Emphysema, a form of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), recently became severe she was devastated at the thought that she would have to carry an oxygen tank around for the rest of her life. It was hard to accept the reality that her body was aging and she needed support to breathe, but harder yet to deal with the sympathy and condescension she anticipated from others.
In “Aging with Wit and Wisdom,” the course she teaches at Carnegie Mellon’s Osher Lifelong Learning Program, Lois points out that people carry around “tapes” in their minds that, over time, can create exaggerated, misleading and ultimately discriminatory generalizations. Determined not to let her own past stereotypes of people on oxygen affect her enthusiasm for life, she set out to change the tape in her own head — and society’s views as well.
Today, Lois goes about her weekly grocery shopping and exercise classes, oxygen tank in hand, teaching people to see the person behind the plastic tubes. Active and capable, she points out that even though you may have to live with a physical disability, you’re still free to choose your attitude about it. She’s stopped looking back. “I don’t feel like a young person,” she says, “because I’m not young. I’m just in good shape. I’m seventy-eight, and I feel terrific.”
Purchase $129 DVD
Order No. QA-483
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-936-3
"It's really about aging without apologies or regrets. Addresses the numerous negative attitudes toward age and health issues associated with aging in this country. Recommended." Educational Media Reviews Online
Awards & Conference Screenings
National Mature Media Award, Merit Award
Old Enough to Know Better: The remarkable story of the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning, a University whose student body is composed entirely of retired persons.
Aging in America: This riveting documentary introduces us to aging athletes, activists, wranglers and strippers, and to inmates growing old in our nation's prisons. A compassionate, often surprising glimpse into the real lives of those who are reaching their "golden" years in the first part of the twenty-first century.
Inside/Out: Toni struggled all her life to feel good about her appearance. At 61, she had finally come to peace with that issue when she suddenly contracted a disease that left half of her face paralyzed. Now she is on a different journey, an internal one, to explore the question of what role physical appearance plays in her self-perception and feelings of self worth?
Let's Face It: A touching and intimate glimpse into the self-explorations of several women in their 40's, 50's, and 60's. As they face the natural reality of aging, they reflect on the impact that physical changes have not only on their bodies, but also on their attitudes about themselves, and on the way they are perceived by society.
Her Name Is Zelda: An intimate, sometimes troubling, portrait of life, aging, and womanhood, through the lively exploits of 85-year-old Zelda Kaplan Manhattan's oldest party animal since Disco Sally. A dancer, social butterfly, model, and humanitarian, Zelda takes life by storm, redefining what it means to be “old” in the process.
Beauty In Aging: From a group of friends who share their experiences of normal aging, to a woman stricken with facial paralysis, to nursing home beauty contestants, to an 85-year-old social butterfly and humanitarian, this program, compiled from excerpts from four videos, allows women to speak for themselves about the transitions of aging.
Sage: Celebrates the wisdom, experience, and creativity of our society's elders through portraits of a diverse group of active, engaged seniors pursuing their lifetime interests, and some new ones as well. Among those profiled is TV chef Julia Child.