Ageism – discrimination against persons of a certain age group. In other words, ageism is discriminating against us just because we grow older. We reject this. We need to disrupt ageism.
Those of us who are fortunate to continue to enjoy each new day and each new year are blessed. Not only are we moving into our own elderhood – a time of deepened purpose, peacemaking and joy – we are part of an unprecedented age wave with 10,000 people turning 65 each day and many enjoying increased longevity. Our time is now!
Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Gerontology has long been on a mission to disrupt ageism. Not only does our culture overvalue youth over maturity, pervasively negative messages toward aging actually cost us years of our lives – if we internalize the negativity. Those of us who are aging – and that is every person from birth onward – need to question our culture’s values and give ourselves permission to celebrate the blessing of longevity. It is a blessing of great worth.
The Longevity Economy by James Coughlin is an enlightening 2017 release worth reading. The author, the founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Age Lab, explores the role of technology and design in the lives of the 50+ population. Coughlin recognizes that innovation lags in response to this age group but trusts that demand will drive response. We look forward to that!
At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we are committed to leadership in senior living – recognizing that there is a great deal of learning to do! We are on a mission to improve the lives of those we are privileged to serve each day and to make a positive difference for seniors in the greater Richmond region. Our Foundation’s annual Innovation Grants seek to inspire creative thinking among our staff. And workforce teams are volunteering with project:HOMES to build ramps for seniors-in-need in our region who will benefit from improved mobility access.
These are strong starts. There are many opportunities to grow, to learn and to help one another. What a tremendous, purpose-filled time of life!
For more information or to share your ideas, contact Gayle Hunter Haglund at Westminster Canterbury Foundation (804-264-6702).