Browsing Senior Info

Changing the Stigma on Aging

The common term for the stigma and discrimination related to aging is Ageism...and it is everywhere. When
age is used to categorize and divide people it leads to harm, disadvantage, injustice, and erodes a much-needed
solidarity across generations.

How we think about aging (stereotypes), how we feel about aging (prejudice), and how we act toward those

aging (discrimination) are all factors that are currently in focus in our country and will continue to be addressed

as we live longer, and older generations grow our population.

However, this is a new era for older Americans. As multiple generations share seniority and become an

ever-greater proportion of the total population, Seniors will become an ever-greater force to be reckoned with in
society- politically, economically, and socially.

There are many steps needed to counter negative thoughts, feelings, and actions toward older people. Most
of these changes will come from changing the stigma from the inside. What does this mean? There has never been a
greater time for seniors...or whatever society wants to call older adults, to embrace getting older, to establish a
gameplan to not just live longer but better, and to integrate ourselves into our inter-generational communities.

There is a challenge to everyone reading this to look at their own stigma toward getting older. How do we
stop the prejudice against us getting older if we believe it ourselves? No matter what stage we are in life, there is
opportunity to contribute. And every one of us may contribute in a different way...but that is how you build

community. We learn to adapt and integrate in this ever changing world.

Secondly, this is not a time for us to disappear as key members in the community. Not only must we

showcase our skills, but we must share them. Building inter-generational community will allow us to share our
experience and skills with every age thus building empathy, inclusion, and commitment toward each other.

Learning from younger generations helps us to adapt, create new skills, and gain respect for each other.

Senior Centers and community organizations also must adapt in the pursuit for greater opportunities for
members. We have a role in working with older Americans to offer both entry and advanced technical training,
better fitness and wellness programs, lifelong learning, and community opportunities and environments that are
appealing to multiple generations of our older population. Opportunities of every kind are present as some may
wish to volunteer, some may want to explore wellness and education avenues, and others thrive with community
opportunities. The key for members is realizing and capitalizing on these opportunities at every phase of aging.
Another important factor for these senior hubs is showcasing to our communities that because we are getting

older does not mean we are not able to contribute and thrive...at any age.

The Blaine Senior Center is embracing our Blaine community and every older community member within.
This includes better opportunities for us to thrive, a greater drive to learn and grow, longer hours, and a lot of

creative ideas on how we can explore this amazing opportunity of life together. We are also going to showcase our
center and embrace our community. This means more community events, more opportunities with

inter-generational members, and a standing posture of open arms. To be a community center that is an integral
part of this community. This is our gameplan to fight ageism.

As members of our Senior Center, we have the opportunity to look at what it means to be a Senior

and redefine how many in the community see us. To redefine how we view ourselves. It was George Burns who
said Everybody is going to get older, but that does not mean you have to get old”.

In final words, The Blaine Senior Center is standing up. We are opening our arms to our community. We are
going to fight the stigma toward aging by showing what we can do. We are a community player and a strong one at
that. It is time to spread an intergenerational message that we are talented and have so much to offer. The Blaine
Senior Center: A beautiful place with beautiful people.

-With all my heart,


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