Fighting Ageism in America

ALFA Short Film Competition winner - "Mind the Gap"

We recently returned from the Assisted Living Federation of America conference and there was a common theme we would like to share.

In today’s society, there seems to be a lot of “ageism” out there.  Ageism is defined as discrimination against people on the grounds of age; specifically, discrimination against the elderly.  This year, ALFA held a film competition that could help fight ageism in America.  If you click here, you can watch the short film that won the competition.

Then just yesterday, I came across this awesome story on of a gentleman, who dreamed at a younger age, of crossing the Atlantic ocean in a raft.  At 85 years old, he set out with three of his friends to build the raft and set sail on the 2,800 mile journey.

“Some people say it was mad,” he told The Associated Press when he arrived in St. Maarten Wednesday. “But it wasn’t mad. What else do you do when you get on in years?”

MSNBC wrote  that the crew said “they wanted to raise awareness about the environment and to prove the elderly are capable of embarking on adventures that are mistakenly considered dangerous.”

Seniors today can do many things.  Just because we age, doesn’t mean that we have stopped dreaming; we haven’t wanted to learn new things; and haven’t wanted to stop living!  In fact, seniors who call assisted living communities home, have stated to us many times that “this is just the beginning!”

At Welcome Home, we have designed an activity program that is no longer about games and entertainment.  Sure, we still play bingo on occasion.  We call our activity program “A Part of You”.  “A Part of You” is an resident based activity philosophy that puts our own residents’ experiences, hobbies or their likes as the focus.   Activities are not just about games and entertainment, but include intellectual and learning activities. 

Over the next year, our communities will focus even stronger on fighting the stereotypes of aging.  As we do, we’ll post those here on our blog page as well as the Facebook pages at each of our communities. 

Follow along and help fight ageism!

Roman Bloemke, Director of Operations at Welcome Home Management