Ask Joan: October 7 is Ageism Awareness Day
October 2, 2023
Joan Hatem-Roy, CEO of AgeSpan

For the past few months, we’ve been promoting ageism awareness with the slogan “Aging: So cool everyone’s doing it!”
And everyone is!
As the saying goes, time waits for no one, and aging happens to all of us, every day. We shouldn’t view aging as an ongoing series of losses but be aware of the possibilities and opportunities it presents.
Too often aging is framed in negative terms, and words can hurt, even if it’s just remarks we’re used to hearing like over the hill or having a senior moment.
Ageism is one of the most widespread and socially accepted forms of prejudice, and it’s bad for all of us, according to the Reframing Aging Initiative, which works to improve the public’s understanding of what aging means and works to do away with harmful stereotypes and assumptions.
Ageism harms our health, making us sicker and costing the country billions of dollars in healthcare expenses. It also limits older people from participating in the workforce.
Older adults (not the elderly) are more than capable. They’re an essential part of our workforce, raising grandchildren, and even racking up millions of followers on social media.
At AgeSpan, we’ve ramped up our efforts to raise awareness of ageism. Melissa Donegan, our Director of the Healthy Living Center for Excellence, is a certified ReFraming Aging Facilitator and conducts training focused on ageism awareness to our staff and community partners. In the past year, she has trained more than 1,000 people.
This Saturday, October 7, is Ageism Awareness Day. Let’s honor it by telling a new story about aging.
Changing, or reframing, the way we talk about aging is an initial step we can all take. This understanding will counter ageism and guide us toward creating and maintaining policies and programs that help all of us move through the span of our lives.

Are you caring for an older adult or need help locating healthy aging resources? Our experienced staff is available to help. Visit us online at for more information. You can also call us at 800-892-0890 or email Joan Hatem-Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of AgeSpan. 

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