Our Words Make an Impact

The topic of Ageism is building steam as more people are becoming increasingly aware of the challenges it represents. Like other “isms,” i.e., racism or sexism, ageism has crept into our culture, but it is not easily removed from our culture.

For a while, I’ve been mindful of language and the impact it has to either support or discourage even the faintest traits of ageism within my own circle of influence. I was challenged once to consider the impact of the word “still,” as in “she still drives,” “he still rides a bicycle,” or “they still enjoy going on hikes.” I’ve come to realize that the language we use can go a long way in promoting the advancement of ageism. I’ve also learned that mindful use of language can help to erode the derogatory hold of ageism on our culture, and I’m committed to that as a goal.

I’m not alone in that commitment, as you can see from this recent article in LeadingAge Magazine in which others around the country are continuing the dialogue aimed at bringing ageism out of the shadows and into the light. My hope is that such exposure will help us all be more mindful of the role we can play in eliminating much of the stigma associated with aging. We have an opportunity to remind ourselves and others that aging is cool…still.

-Tim Rogers, Executive Director, Someren Glen

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