August 7, 2017
It wasn’t even a year ago that LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan announced that LeadingAge had a new mission: to “permanently change the image of aging in our society.”
“Ageism is working against all that we believe in,” Sloan said at the time. “It paints aging as a disease that cannot be cured. It drives paternalism. It reinforces the notion that older adults are a burden to their families and to society.”
It also affects hiring and fundraising in senior living, she said.
The organization provided concrete evidence of its effort to fulfill its mission on Friday, announcing a new collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University to develop a video training and discussion guide on ageism for professionals who work in senior living and long-term care. LeadingAge will fund the project, and the guide will be available for aging services providers next summer, according to the organization.
“We need more tools to facilitate important discussions about ending ageism,” Sloan said in the announcement.
Operators already fighting ageism
Of course, many senior living operators already are fighting ageism in their own ways.
One recent example is Juniper Communities’ trip to Burning Man last summer. CEO Lynne Katzmann planned the trip to “write a new story of aging in America.”
Another example is the former Presbyterian Retirement Communities Northwest’s October name change to Transforming Age, including a new tagline of “live without limits” and a new online forum called “When I’m 99.” Part of the mission of Transforming Age is grassroots anti-ageism advocacy, and the organization said its name change pointed specifically to its focus on changing the perception of age and aging. Read the full McKnights Senior Living news article by Lois A Bowers here.