Thursday, December 5, 2019

Presentation tackles ageism in language

Experts in aging are working to change negative perceptions and the language we use in order to eliminate ageism, which can have a detrimental effect on the work and health of our state’s aging population. The Endowment for Health’s Kelly Laflamme, along with Jennifer Rabalais of the UNH Center on Aging and Community Living and Institute on Disability, recently presented “Changing the Conversation Around Aging: Telling a New Story,” to the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley. Ageism can cause cardiovascular stress and lower life expectancy, as well as discourage community and workplace participation. Laflame and Rabalais pointed to national research that showed an “us vs. them” mentality, even though we are all aging as part of our developmental continuum. A new paradigm trains us to value our experience as we age and become older adults.