Aging unites us all.
We are a youth-oriented society with a population that is rapidly aging. And in our society, ageism is insidious. It perpetuates powerful and pervasive stereotypes that demean the individual. It denies them the respect they rightfully have earned over decades. And it often determines the quality of their lives.
Instead of celebrating life’s journey, ageism assaults America’s core values—that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Ageism seeps into everything we have been doing for many decades.
- It inhibits staff recruitment.
- It clouds the public’s view of what we do.
- It negatively influences philanthropy.
- And it leads to onerous public policies.
Ageism is working against all that we believe in.
It paints aging as a disease that cannot be cured. It drives paternalism and reinforces the notion that older adults are a burden to their families and to society.
At LeadingAge, we believe in the worth of people, regardless of age. We believe that we ALL deserve respect, dignity, and choice. We believe that we serve a larger purpose: one that transcends our day-to-day work, and one that places a large responsibility on our shoulders.
We all need to be part of a bigger, broader conversation about ageism.
As a community of aging services professionals, we all must be stewards and hold ourselves accountable for the well-being of the people whose lives we touch.
We must have the courage to stand up for what we believe is right so we can permanently erase the stigmas around aging.
Now, more than ever, we ALL need to amplify our voices so that the issues that matter most to us are heard loud and clear.