Senior Citizens Advisory Board Meeting – June 6, 2021
Note: The following is the output of transcribing from a video recording. Although the transcription, which was done with software, is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or [software] transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the meeting, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Read along below, or follow along here: https://otter.ai/u/nfL6EkwRRB8UK57n71ICxtNCqFM
Unknown Speaker 0:00
So it’s 10 o’clock. Let’s call the meeting to order. And prudence you have that all the board members are here and accounted for. Yep. Okay. Welcome, everybody. I hope this is one of our last ever zoom meetings. I don’t like looking at myself on this screen. But let’s see, there are no public people. So let’s go down to the minutes from the last meeting and may anybody have corrections questions changes. Sheila
Unknown Speaker 0:48
Marsha was recorded as a board member instead of a guest. Okay. Welcome.
Unknown Speaker 0:55
All correct that anybody else? I have one. Just typo. Part Four. Under be reopening plan, the last sentence alter is a LTA er minor.
Unknown Speaker 1:18
Unknown Speaker 1:20
Okay. Should we accept as amended then? Yes. Unless you’re saying no, we’re going to hit with that. Thanks, prudence. Sure. And we’re up to Carrie Middleton welco. We are looking forward to hearing your presentation on reframing aging.
Unknown Speaker 1:48
Thank you so much, Susan. So I can start. All right. Well, good morning, everybody. And thank you for being here. So as Susan mentioned, so I’m Carrie Middleton and I work for the Boulder County area agency on aging, where I do a couple different things. One is that I coordinate what’s called the respite and companion volunteer program that some of you are probably aware of with your work with the Longmont senior center. And then I also lead reframing aging efforts. And so really happy want to thank Michelle, for inviting me to do this. And I will share my screen here in a moment. So let’s all think happy technology thoughts. But our test earlier, it was good. So I’m sure it’s all gonna be fine. And I’m with you, Susan, I’m ready to not see myself anymore. Can you get rid of all of us? Okay, can everybody see that? Okay, yes. So, I’m actually going to begin by asking you something, and I think we’re a small enough group that if you’re comfortable with it, it would be great if you would just unmute yourself. So why don’t you two, if you would take a look at this job ad that I pulled off of one of those major job seeking websites, then I will charitably remain remain nameless. And in so they’re looking for temporary membership coordinator under their desired qualifications, some of the stuff you expect product management skills communication organization. Now take a look if you would, at the circle, partner, digital native, not afraid to learn and try new things. And what what do you think that means? What are your reactions to that? And again, this is real, I didn’t just pull this up, make it up?
Unknown Speaker 3:49
My reaction would be well, I don’t want to work for them because they’re only interested in digital natives. I’m always you know, welcome to try new things. But that digital native is like, I’m staying away. Yeah. Is that a common word or phrase? It’s not uncommon. Yep. Yep.
Unknown Speaker 4:12
So let’s talk about that. What does digital native mean? They don’t define it. What do we think it means?
Unknown Speaker 4:18
I’ll be honest, I have not a clue what a digital native is.
Unknown Speaker 4:24
I, I think, you know, this is something that even organizations I work for, put this in, and, you know, it can mean several things digital native, can be referred to someone who grew up in the digital age. It can mean someone who has some has has greater than their phone digital skills. Yeah. So it’s kind of common language now, it’s not uncommon,
Unknown Speaker 5:13
agreed it’s not uncommon. And I found this job, a particular job ad really, despite going to one of those sites and searching for digital natives, and then seeing the job as they came up. And I think that you hit a common interpretation of this goodness on the head, which is someone who grew up very comfortable with technology, internet, phone, how smartphones, whoever you want to describe that. So if we take that, so you are native to that technology. So if we take that interpretation, then it seems like what do you think is being said here? What do they want? They want someone not who’s grown up with this. I they want someone who’s of a certain age, and airgo they’re not necessarily interested in someone of a different age. What do you think of that? Not afraid to learn and try new things? That’s okay. That’s okay. Yeah. What do you think of it? Following the term digital native?
Unknown Speaker 6:15
That’s a software update. You better not be pulling your hair out every time we do what? No, absolutely. Go ahead and pretend like you’re gonna say something. Hey,
Unknown Speaker 6:26
I have a question. Yes. No. Those of us probably? Don’t those folks who are in their 50s and 60s? Yeah. Um, they consider themselves digital natives. Because internet comes out. Really, AOL, I think it’s like 1984. So 94, two thirds vote, you know it, that’s 30 years ago. So you’re already in your 30s. Right. So I’m, I’m not sure whether digital, the term digital natives then excludes folks who are in their late 70s, or 80s.
Unknown Speaker 7:23
I think that’s one interpretation of it. I’d say the most common interpretation I see when we go back to native is like, when you think of a native language you grew up speaking it. So from your childhood, you were okay with this. So we met I understand this in different ways. How I think it’s typically used in job contexts is to describe someone who’s young enough to have grown up with a smartphone on their hand if he will, or a tablet. Go ahead.
Unknown Speaker 7:52
If the term said native English speaker, would that be that would not be acceptable?
Unknown Speaker 7:59
Right. And that’s what if I wouldn’t think so. But that takes us into other territory, but I wouldn’t think so. My why’s Why is this accepted? All right. Great question. Exactly. And so I throw this out here, because I think it’s a fun one. It’s really common. And it’s a really concrete example of ageism, we can understand that as prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping, again, based on age, and in this workshop will focus especially on those things based on older age of and so in this case, we have what I would argue is not just that prejudice, Oh, we don’t we don’t want someone who didn’t grew up with this stuff. We didn’t we don’t want someone who’s older. But to me, when I read digital native comment, not afraid to learn and try new things that suggests that well, if you’re not a digital natives, you must be afraid to learn and trying things. And that in itself is another is another prejudice. And then in this kind of case, in a job context, those prejudices and stereotyping can extend to actual discriminations like okay, we’re not going to interview if you know, you didn’t grow up with a tablet in your hand sort of thing. So again, this is just one simple example. But it’s a really, really common example of ageism. And so I’ve been giving these workshops in partnership with changing the narrative, which is a nonprofit here in Colorado. That leaves anti ageism efforts and reframing aging efforts. And this is really part of a long term social movement. So we don’t expect things to change overnight. We don’t. We don’t expect to see next week, digital natives to disappear from job ads or all age based discrimination disappear from the workplace. But the idea is that the more people attend the workshops like this, and the more people are doing something about ages, and then over time, things do change, and things do get better. And so by attending these workshops yourselves, and especially in the work that you do with the Longmont, Senior Center, I think are part of this movement, you’re sort of, as the slide says, it’s like, we are the leaders that that we can we can change things. And so as I said, I’m, I’m always, always happy and excited when I’m, I’m asked to do these kinds of workshops. So I would like to hear a little bit more from the group before we continue. And you can answer these questions I’m going to put on those slides silently to yourself if you want. Or you can also, I didn’t see a chat function in here. You can also unmute yourself if you feel like sharing. And this is a no shame poll. So the reason I ask these questions is just to get a sense of what people are thinking things they’ve experienced things they’ve thought about. So first question is, have you ever lied about your age? And you can think about that for a moment? And you don’t have to say? Well, not for 50 years. That’s a long time. Okay. Second part, which of these Have you ever said or thought? I’m having a senior moment. entitled, millennial, I’m too old or too young for that. Or you look at for your age, though.
Unknown Speaker 11:43
I think it I think it all insulting. I mean, why would you for yourself? Say I’m having a senior moment, I kind of I don’t I never even think of that. Entitled millennial that just shows to me. prejudice against people who were too young, like red coin? Yeah. Yeah. I don’t like the other two, either. I mean, I, I didn’t know I wouldn’t say that. Except Yes, I saw a woman who was 107. And she looked right. I’m guilty of three out of four.
Unknown Speaker 12:23
And no, no shame. I have definitely thought at least three of those. And I have to admit that I pray three out of four also. Yeah. So these are really common. And most of them don’t even think about these sorts of things. And so but but let’s let’s go through them a little bit. So entitled millennial, that’s it’s absolutely true, that helps illustrate that ageism can also apply to younger people. It’s not just necessarily for older people, we’re going to focus on older people and ages. I’m here, not just because I work for the Area Agency on Aging, but also because the data is that that’s where it does the most harm, but it does cut both ways. I’m having a senior moment. So any of us ever forgotten something when we were younger than we are now? I know I have. Was that a senior moment? No, it had nothing to do with my age, it had to do with lots of other things. Perhaps I’m not my age. Same with having a senior moment that suggest Well, it’s because I’m a certain age, it’s like, why is that? If you didn’t think that when you were 30? Or are you thinking that if you’re 60? Go ahead? Are you going to say something?
Unknown Speaker 13:37
I was gonna say? I think that it to me when I hear that, especially in a work setting, let’s say, um, I think it’s it’s trying to excuse something that you probably didn’t need in your head to begin with. I mean, you can just let it go. But probably we use language in multiple ways. I
Unknown Speaker 14:18
disagree a bit. I do, because and maybe it’s because I’m in my 70s. But I do have I don’t call them senior moments. But my memory in certain areas is not as acute now as it used to be. And that’s just my opinion.
Unknown Speaker 14:46
And thanks for sharing that. And I think that the data is that we do experience some cognitive changes as we age. And some of those are positive and some of those are some of those are not so positive. Right, I think where I would quibble is attributed only to your age where we don’t have a, you know, I’m having a millennial moment. This is what happens when I’m 25. But we definitely forget things when we’re 25. Or at least I’ve never met anybody who hasn’t. But that’s a valid point.
Unknown Speaker 15:15
Carrie, yeah, I, I hear this, I’m having a senior moment, a lot from colleagues. And I struggle with how to respond that confronts the the ageism, in that statement for me. And so I often say exactly what you just said is, or maybe you’re just having a moment. But now I’m going to incorporate what prudence just said, which is, or maybe it wasn’t important for you to.
Unknown Speaker 15:49
I love that.
Unknown Speaker 15:52
Because sometimes you can come off, I can come off, as you know, being a little self righteous. So I have to think about how to respond to though that statement, actually a lot, and in a way that people can hear it. So prudence, you just gave me my response, which is, yeah, you probably didn’t need to know that anyways. Exactly. I love it.
Unknown Speaker 16:15
It’s a it’s a great response. And sometimes we’ll talk a little bit about this further on. But sometimes I also will just ask, What do you mean by that? And of course, or tell me more about that. And sometimes if people are asked to explain, or what makes it a senior moment, excuse me, and right there, there were more or less, more or less righteous ways to say that. But sometimes I think just asking a question can help people think about what are they saying what what assumptions are underlying, or you look good for your age? So underlying that seems to get that notion that well, if you look good, that’s surprising. Because as we get older, everything goes downhill. So underlying This, again, are some pretty negative assumptions and stereotypes. And we use these in particular, these these examples, because they are super common. And because we don’t necessarily think of them as ajuste. But if you start to dig a little deeper, you can see that behind them are some negative assumptions. All right. So this is so bad as the background, this is what we’re going to cover today. So and apologies, my neighbor has chosen right now to mow the lawn. You can hear that. That’s that’s what that is. So we’re going to cover what ageism is we’ve talked about that a little bit so far, and how it affects not just us as individuals, but also our communities. We’re going to talk about what do we do about it? What’s effective? What does the research say? How do we talk back and becoming a change agent that’s changing the narratives term for? How do you get involved in this movement. And there are lots of different things that you could do. And it’s sort of a matter of what, what interests you or speaks to you. And that’s sort of that choose your own adventure, there are multiple things that we can do. So these workshops usually go on an hour to an hour and a half. And it really just depends on how many questions there are, how much discussion there is. And throughout, I will I will ask your feedback as well, because nobody likes to sit in front of the computer and have someone talk to them for for an hour and a half. So I really appreciate all the all the lively discussion we’ve had so far. So ageism, we use the World Health Organization’s definition here. So defined as prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination based on age, and prejudice. We talked about some of those things already stereotyping things like well, you must be digitally incompetent. And then we’ve seen discrimination. And again, a really obvious example is workplace discrimination. That we will we’ll talk about a little bit more later on. And then prejudice that can be as simple as you know, I don’t like old people. How many of us who work in the aging services field have heard someone say, I don’t want to go there. That’s where the old people are. I or I don’t want to go to long term care. That’s the old the old people are there. So that kind of prejudice like well, and also, you know, since I can’t be able to, it’s always someone else. So sometimes people ask, especially people outside aging services like well, is that does that really happen? Is that actually a thing? And sadly, it is. So apart from the examples that we’ve already gone over, the University of Michigan just last year did a poll on healthy aging. And what they found is that of the respondents age 82% of older adults, so they experienced one or more forms of ageism, in their day to day lives. And that can be things like going to a store and person, you know, assuming going back to that stereotype of digital incompetence, and this happened to my mom, well, you probably shouldn’t have this phone because it’s going to be really hard to operate.
Unknown Speaker 20:21
So just as an example, of of everyday ageism, or people going to a doctor and having the doctor say, Hi, sweetie, how are you today as though that person is 10, as opposed to an adult. And then the AARP in 2019, did a study where two thirds of folks had either experienced or witnessed age discrimination in the workplace. And speaking of the workplace, the Urban Institute in a 2018 study, they followed 20,000 people who enter their 50s with full employment. So they have been working in those jobs for at least five years, they were full time we were benefited jobs, and over half of those were either pushed out or laid off in their 50s. So and less than 10% of those folks ever recoup financially. So it’s it’s very much a thing, unfortunately, and it is very real. And when we think about workplace discrimination based on age, there can also be a compounding effect. If say, you’re a caregiver, and you’ve left employment to care for someone, and then you’re trying to get back and you have a certain age or employers like that. We’re only looking for digital natives as an example or we think he won’t be able to learn this or we think he won’t be able to keep up with the pace, that sort of thing. So why should we be trying to end ageism now? So that’s, that’s the by now the all too familiar picture of the Coronavirus. So I’d be curious to hear from you. What have you heard or seen about ageism? In the age of COVID? Any thoughts?
Unknown Speaker 22:15
So I think that plan that COVID testing, and, and COVID vaccines initially was all online. And certainly not older adults are not the only ones who struggle with access to technology. But certainly there are a great percentage of folks, I find that find that planners, in instituting that plan, probably don’t understand who they’re who their neighbors who their customers who their clients who, who is in this world. And I find that a just in the sense of the lack of awareness, the lack of understanding. I think that there were comments that came out relative to the folks in long term care and the old old dying from COVID that were insensitive, ajuste. And completely inappropriate. Like somehow it was more okay for an 84 year old, relatively healthy person to die than it would be for a 32 year old person today. I just there were different things that happened through COVID that that I found were unsettling. And in some cases, ageist,
Unknown Speaker 23:37
I appreciate that. And I think you’re you’re spot on with all of those things. I think we probably all heard the sense of, well, they were old, they were going to die anyway. And so right, that notion that it mattered less people in long term care, for example, died, then if younger people died. And early on there is that sense of well, this is only killing old people. So it’s not that big of a deal. The rest of us can just carry on. Other Other thoughts? I mean, I’ve thrown some other things on the slide, but I’m wondering if folks have other things that they’d like to share.
Unknown Speaker 24:13
So this is great. And so I think a couple of things. I think that on the intent of putting everything on digitally on one was not dawn it I don’t think there was intention to exclude people. I think that the so that’s kind of one thing. I didn’t think they that people inventing these systems thought that for, into who could and who could not. And as you go across The country, when you look at the coasts, you know, a major urban centers, I think you’ll see that there are more people are older, I’ll use 50 as the break off age who are digitally competent? So I don’t think there was intent there. I think they will, most likely the people inventing these systems, live urban areas, highly digitalized. It’s a good point. So the second thing is, is that, um, it was also because the virus even though was a public health issue was you saw politicians come out and say, It’s okay, because they’re older, the these folks should be willing to sacrifice. So I, there was a political divide. And that political divide resulted in comments that were a just
Unknown Speaker 26:16
so kind of to that point, there was as recently as last summer, it was about a year ago now there was a magazine article in time, that was from two economists who quite seriously suggested that the way to end the pandemic and get the economy back on track was just keep older people at home, so everybody else can go about their business, but only older people should stay at home now. And this again, this was a I don’t remember the economist, the University they were from, but it’s a well known, respected University and a national magazine. And, and they weren’t the only ones who were making this kind of comment, even though we also know that there were other people at higher risk for the disease. It was not just older people, but somehow people who were older were singled out. There was an also I think it was last summer, it might have been as late as last fall, there was also an article in Denver Post that talked about how PP e was not prioritized for long term care, even though long term care settings were experiencing some of the highest mortality rates. And the federal government was sending PP that in some cases was inferior, inferior or not even usable. So just as another example of ageism, at work in the pandemic, you’re in Colorado, as you’re probably aware, there were also triage standards, critical care standards that were developed, that moved older people to the back of the line for care such as ventilators. And one thing that I would say here is that we also know that the pandemic disproportionately affected people of color. So we can see how marginalization can compound upon each other. So imagine someone because of social context, who’s a person of color, more more higher exposure to COVID gets COVID. If they also happen to be an older adult, then if there was a triage situation, they’re going to be marginalized further by moving back into the line. So these things are not separate. They they compound each other, unfortunately. So a pandemic I think, really has I don’t know that it’s created ageism, but it is very much exposed that this is a real thing. People say all the little say all kinds of things like calling the virus or grandma killer, or a boomerang, Uber, those sorts of those sorts of things were sent to and like I said, mainstream publications, things like Well, let’s just keep older people at home, the rest of us can go about our lives. So it’s it’s pretty real. It also affects us, both, if that’s us personally. So we’ve already talked about financial security. And as that relates to workplace age discrimination, and I mentioned that study are only 10%, less than 10% of those folks recouped financially when they were pushed out as older adults. And of course, if you lose your job, then in this country, then potentially you’re losing your health insurance as well. There’s also a study by the Yale School of Public Health, that shows that ageism, negatively affects our health, both our physical and mental health, and negatively affects our memories even so there was an interesting study that suggested that people who have more positive beliefs about aging and getting older were almost 50% less likely to get dementia, even if they had a genetic marker for it. So again, this is measurable, and people who think more positively about aging Literally live about seven and a half years longer than people who don’t. So again, this is what the research says. And this is measurable.
Unknown Speaker 30:10
It also affects our whole communities. So one of the things I’m going to talk about a little later on, is communications recommendations by an organization called the frameworks Institute, which is based, which is a DC based think tank that looks at how we communicate effectively about social issues. And one of the things that they found in their research is that ageism in our society, erode support for policies that are Age Friendly. So for policies that might support caregivers, for example. And even though our demographics are changing, as you’re probably aware, less than 2% of private philanthropic funding, goes to fund programs that serve older adults. The Yale School of Public Health also did a study that calculated that ageism in healthcare contacts cost us as a country annually $63 billion dollars. And I would emphasize that this calculation was attributed to ageism, so not underlying conditions, but directly to ageism. And here, again, is a place where I would emphasize that people can be marginalized in multiple ways. So some of you are probably aware, there was a news story, gosh, 678 months ago, about a black physician who complained about racism in her treatment who had COVID. She later died of COVID. And she was also an older adult. So we know that the research is that ageism is very much alive in healthcare. So then you have a person in a healthcare context, you can be experiencing racism as well as ageism. And the AARP calculated that in the recent study, that workplace age discrimination costs the economy $850 billion annually in terms of loss productivity. So again, it’s measurable, it’s, it’s real, unfortunately, a lot of the data is pretty negative, that it’s there and what it does to us. But as I mentioned, the converse of that is when we think more positively about older adults, and about our own aging process, we benefit, we live seven and a half times seven and a half years longer, or help us better, we’re less likely to have dementia. But it can be hard in our society to have those more positive beliefs. Because in ways that we’ve talked about, we’re surrounded by all of these messages, that to get to age is bad. And then older adults are somehow less fan. So I’m not going to read all the examples on the slide. And one or two we’ve already talked about. But one that I do like to pick on is that phrase, she’s young at heart, or he’s young at heart. And what that seems to mean is, well, what we seem to mean by that is a person is vibrant, and energetic and enthusiastic. The implication being that, well, old people don’t have those things. So you’re young, you’re young at heart, if you have those things. So it’s one of those many instances in which our language masks some underlying really negative assumptions about getting older and older adult that we don’t necessarily even recognize because they’re just so around us. Or referring talking to older adults as though they’re their children. So like, okay, young man, that sort of thing. Oh, can I do for you today? Any comments about any of this so far? or questions? We’re gonna get to solutions. So I know we go through a lot of bad stuff. Okay. Go ahead, Marsha.
Unknown Speaker 34:20
Um, I would just like to observe that there have been so many cultural changes since we were young in body that being sensitive to some of these things is very unnatural. You know, we all grew up, you know, young at heart was a popular song and it had nothing but positive connotations. Yeah. And so, you know, it’s kind of hard to, to absorb the idea that you’re being insulted by being called That. Yeah. And I guess, a young person who’s really trying to say I think of you as a peer.
Unknown Speaker 35:07
I think that’s a great, that’s a great point. And I think we can separate what a person intends. And what if you look at the language is underlying the actual, the actual sentiment being expressed. So young at heart, we mean that in a complimentary way. But it seems to be working on the assumption that, to be young is to be these positive things ever go to be older is not to be those things. But you’re right, people want to have the best of intentions. Absolutely.
Unknown Speaker 35:37
The one that gives me carry is 60 is the new 40. Because you know, what, I don’t hear 80 year olds going 80 is, you know, a new 100. You know, it’s like, that’s a fear one for me that when folks are saying 50 is the new 30 or whatever. It’s their own fear emerging, and I don’t know that that. That is a just about older adults, as much as it is their own fear of aging, if that makes sense. You know, so it’s like, so what are you afraid of about being 60? Or 70? Or 80? You know, it’s so that what I just find? Yeah, that’s a very personal thing, I think for folks.
Unknown Speaker 36:29
Yeah, thanks for bringing that up. Right. And I think that fear is like, well, there must be something wrong with 60. So we’re not gonna say it at 60. It’s the new 40. It’s like, we’re 40 because we don’t want to be 60. Because 60 is bad, I think is what I’m saying. And so right, that fear of being 60. Other comments?
Unknown Speaker 36:47
So I think also, you know, I was just with two of my colleagues recently, I’m on the advisory council and one of the things I said was that we ourselves as seniors sometimes, um, say things like you gave an example before a senior moment. I know when I first got here, and one of my colleagues said, Oh, I didn’t want to go there either the term senior center or AARP, the retired person or making the assumption that once you reach a certain age you’re not working anymore. So even within the senior community, that is a message messaging that is constant that your senior year senior your senior so I wish that would stop to be quite frank about it. And I don’t want to be you know, I don’t want it I know I think it was either Louis roll a laugh yet it could have been Lafayette who named rename their senior center at the silver center. Well do we we name thing like multi hair, bad color center, multi column, dead center, you know, you don’t name it that. So some of it is also how we portray ourselves.
Unknown Speaker 38:38
I guess it’s a really good point. And for another project that I’ve been working on, it has to do with ageism. In healthcare, we’ve been talking to older adults and healthcare professionals and one of the themes that has come out is you know, it’s it’s hard in the society not to be anxious because we’re surrounded by it. So we internalize it, it’s hard not to do those things. And so some of the work is at least I certainly find this with myself, there’s internal No, I think I think that’s a great point.
Unknown Speaker 39:11
Go ahead. One of the things I want to say is that when we look at you know going I’m going to go way back here with that COVID situation that there were so many of our children and grandchildren that were so protective of us and they were you know, they wouldn’t be if this was not been a negative way he just wanted to keep it safe and so many of us including myself, I couldn’t go out for about three weeks because my coat nice culture to six weeks I think because my kids will let me add a brought groceries for me, you know, we want to keep you save, etc. So we got to keep that in mind also with some, you know, something like this. The other thing that you’re talking about with, you know, the cultures of people of color is that I can tell you for the Latino culture, that we are so close. And, you know, many of us, even when that was here, we one word mask when our family was here, you know, and that was, it could be six, seven of us together and under none of us were wearing masks, because we felt so confident that everybody else safe. But anyway, that that’s something that I want to say. But the other thing that I wanted to say is that some people can take this negative, but I wish they would I wish restaurants would ask if you’re, if you’re a senior when they have senior discounts. You know, a lot of places they won’t ask you, and then you hear somebody and they say, geez, you wait at that place, you get your senior discount? Well, I didn’t know about it. But I just say there’s there’s some positives to on the grip.
Unknown Speaker 40:59
Yeah. And I appreciate the comment about right, different cultures as well. And what I what I hear different things about I think some people want to be asked
Unknown Speaker 41:11
about, are you a senior and some people don’t. But I think that’s a great point. There’s room for individual variation, and there are positives. So I definitely want to acknowledge with COVID, I think a lot of it was coming out, not all of it, I’m going to be honest, did have good intentions. And I think it raises that question now to take us down a rabbit hole of that balance between respecting people’s autonomy as adults who can make their own decisions and trying to keep people safe. So it’s so that there’s that I think, tension that we saw throughout, especially in long term care contexts. So just the interest of time, I’m going to move on a little bit. So if you’re surrounded by all of these, these anti older, dull, anti aging, anti aging messages, why is that? And so frameworks Institute, they are the think tank I mentioned earlier, what they researched, among other things was what does the general public think about aging in the United States? And and then also, how do we communicate effectively given what the general public thinks about aging? So what’s on this slide now? Are those themes that frameworks pulled out from what people think? So a couple things about them. These are patterns of thinking throughout the United States. It’s not to say that everybody thinks the same way. But it is to say that these patterns are largely often unquestioned assumptions that we all have access to, even if we ourselves might not actually think that. And so for me learning about these themes, like oh, yeah, that sounds really familiar to me. Even though as someone who works in this field, they’re not necessarily things that I believe, but they are patterns that the general public believes, broadly speaking. So one of those themes is, there’s a sense of ideal aging, versus what in the public’s mind is actual aging, and ideal aging. Think of those commercials that show folks who are retired, who are living life of leisure, and you know, they’re on a beach, they’re sipping cocktails, they’re going on cruises, or they’re moving away from commercials, they’re volunteering around the world, pre COVID. And they’re trying things they never had time to do before. I’m having a great time. So that’s the ideal. But in the public mind, what actually happens when we age is decline in dependency, and loss, things just go downhill. And we get we lose our independence. There’s also in the general public’s mind, a very strong, us versus them. So we saw this come out during the pandemic a lot that, you know, we have to protect those people, those older adults, so we have to sacrifice to make people safe. So there’s also we see that us versus them and some of the comments that people have made about, well, I don’t want to go there. That’s where old people go, because you know, all is always someone else’s, it’s never us. There’s also in the public mind, a sense of individualism, meaning that if you’re struggling with things as you age, for example, with transportation or nutrition or social isolation, that in the public’s mind is not because of context, but it’s because of choices that individuals made. So if you can’t afford rent in Boulder County or mortgage in Boulder County or property taxes, well, you should have saved more or you need to move somewhere else if you can’t afford this. If you’re struggling nutrition, well, we need to educate you more and you need to make better choices, as opposed to thinking about things like access to food and is there nutritious food that’s available that’s nearby that people can get to, instead of thinking about things like about social isolation, like well, you know, are things accessible in terms of transportation resources or walkability. Instead, people think in terms of you need to get out there and make friends and that sort of thing. So not context, but individualism. And then in the public mind, another pattern is a sense of nostalgia and threat of modernity. And by this is meant, there’s this idea that in the good old days, you know, people didn’t have these struggles, you know, social security was solvent, people had pensions, families cared for each other. And that’s just not the case in the modern world. But the problem with that thinking, of course, as we all know, when that’s over simplified about those good old days, and to those good old days, we’re not actually good for everybody. And as we know, really very well, when the public thinks about solutions that folks might have, if they’re struggling with things as older adults, as you would expect, they’re thinking in terms of individual solutions, like, you know, we need to make sure people have more education and tell people more about resources and how to save money in this sort of thing. And then finally, sometimes when the public thinks about solutions, they’re not thinking about solutions, except to say that, well, there isn’t a solution. So there’s that sense of fatalism that sense that? Well, in the modern world, Social Security is doomed. There’s nothing we can do about it. In the modern world, families move, they don’t stay together, and there’s nothing we can do to help people age well. So this is what the general public thinks, again, these are patterns of thinking that largely function as assumptions that people don’t even necessarily know that they have. And again, it’s not say everybody thinks these things, but we all have access to these things. I know again, learning about this, like, oh, all this seems really familiar to me, even though I don’t necessarily buy into these things, as someone who works in this field. So I would like to hear from you. We might just pick one of these just because in the interest of time, but when you think about those patterns of thinking, and let’s go with that second statement, and what patterns of thinking do you think are reflected in in the MMS message. So the messages, and this is paraphrased from a website. So again, not something that made up this is about colorado state budget. Our state budget pays for services that define our quality of life. But due to our aging population, the fiscal conflict threatens that quality. What patterns of thinking do you think are reflected in that? And so those patterns again, are things like fatalism us versus them. Ideal aging versus the perceived real aging, what do you think?
Unknown Speaker 48:11
For me, when I read that last sentence, due to our aging population, a fiscal conflict threatens that quality? That sounds very othering. Very us versus them. In other words, those older people are going to threaten our quality of life. Because there are so many of them. There’s also a sense of fatalism, so not solutions. But born these this is awful. Populations aging, what are we going to do about it, all these old people, our quality of life is going to suffer. So not solutions, not inclusivity. But more those people in a sense of doom
Unknown Speaker 48:48
still carry when I see these statements? I think there is some, the first one certainly has a value some values to it around the economy being primary. The second one just feels like they were trying to shortcut a reality. You know, I mean, I think most of us are aware of the Medicare budget, and the challenge that care. And and the cost of care. embedded in that is so much that To try and make a one sentence or two sentences to describe that. Yeah, is really just not not fair. I mean, you know what I mean, there’s just so much complexity in that one. That that’s, that’s unfortunate. I don’t know what the context was for that, but they’ve missed some key points and opportunities.
Unknown Speaker 49:51
Yep. So great, great points. And maybe one thing that I want to piggyback on there is a A lot of the messaging, excuse me that we’re going to see, excuse me about older adults and aging. I think as someone said earlier might come from the very best of places with the very best of intentions. That said, it still might be reflecting negative assumption that in the end are going to be unhelpful. So that first one targeted lockdowns for the elderly can help our economy, while others resume more normal life from protect the most vulnerable. So again, this is paraphrased from an actual something to fit it onto the slide. And clearly, it seems like the intent here was, hey, we need to keep people safe, we also need to make sure that our economy can do as well as it can under the circumstances. And we want people to live a more normal life. But when you look at these things, some of the things that jumped out at me now that based on my reef, my working with changing the narrative and understanding of the frameworks recommendations is it’s very othering. So again, let’s just lock down the elderly. Everyone else can go on and live a more normal life as opposed to a sense of, we’re all in this together, how can we figure out something that that helps everybody that helps keep people safe, that does something for the economy. And then when I seen a sentence, protect that clause protect the most vulnerable? In the context here, the most vulnerable is clearly older people. And to me, there’s a couple of things wrong with that. One is that it sort of suggests that older adults are this monolithic, same group that are all uniformly vulnerable, which, you know, is that is that necessarily true? The other is that even though being older, and age was a higher risk factor, and is for COVID, we also know, there are a lot of other risk factors for COVID, such as being overweight, or being diabetic or being immunocompromised, and we don’t see those groups singled out. Instead, what we think aloud is reinforcing that notion that to be older is to be frail, is to be vulnerable, is to be dependent. And it’s not to say that things don’t change as we get older. But it is to say, that’s a stereotype. Okay, go ahead, Janine, you have your hand up.
Unknown Speaker 52:24
I do, because and I just need to say this, I really disagree with you, especially about, especially about the COVID. Because older adults were at greater risk that wasn’t because they were older adults, and they were being you know, single bout it was because it was a reality, and that they did need to have more consideration. And that, you know, my family was extremely protective of me like you are. And I didn’t see that, as them thinking I was old. I you know, I just think you can take a sentence, and you can look at it. And you can take from that, whatever negative connotation about older adults that you want. But the fact is, is that we are older, and I spend a whole lot of time looking at and working on committees that address issues that do affect people that are older adults, it’s not a label, it’s it’s it’s a reality. I don’t find it offensive. I really don’t. And that’s all I got to say,
Unknown Speaker 53:58
Oh, and I really appreciate your comment. And, you know, part of these workshops is having these discussions. And I want to say that I absolutely agree with you that it was the reality that being over a certain age, would you put you’re at higher risk. And that was absolutely a legitimate concern. The the issue that I would have is I think that the narrative that we were seeing over and over and over again, throughout the pandemic is older adults are somehow uniquely vulnerable. Everyone else needs to sacrifice for them. Whereas I think reality was a lot more nuanced. I think the reality was that we all needed to take precautions because it protected everybody, because by stopping the spread, no matter to whom at spread. We were for example, protecting the availability of care that really all of us depended on and So, during the pandemic, one of the things that I did was coordinate medical volunteers. And twice during the pandemic, I was recruiting people to work at a local hospital because of a surge in patients. And those were cases where it’s like, all of us need to do our part. Because so we don’t get to that point where we’re having to put in triage standards. So to me, it was more Yeah, we need to protect people. But this isn’t about one group that’s uniquely vulnerable, because there are other people with risk factors apart from age that are also vulnerable. And the reality is, all of us are vulnerable. We’re all in this together. Go ahead. Marsha was before me. Go ahead, Marsha. Oh, sorry. I can’t see everybody.
Unknown Speaker 55:49
Yeah. Sorry. Thank you, prudence. So I think that I mean, I agree with Janine very strongly. I also think that there’s a lot to what you’re saying, Carrie, but what the the solutions that you’re proposing obscure the truth. I mean, whatever you think about how clumsily they are phrased, both of the statements that you’ve got up there are absolutely dead on true. They may have connotative problems, but they are denotative. Lee true. So my question for you is how would you rephrase these to be more acceptable with out obscuring the central truth that that elderly do need special care?
Unknown Speaker 56:43
I think that if you used the message, the messaging from the leader of the country, at the time, was not that we are all in this together. Americans infrequently have been all in this together. Because even during World War Two, which was supposedly we were all in this together, people when there were people who protested us getting into the war. And once again, from the top during that time, it was only after the bombing of an American thing that suddenly we will all in this together. So we are all in this together is probably the goal of a democratic society. However, the messaging from the top is not that I think the word vulnerable. I mean, you could I agree with Janine, you can chop it down a little bit and say those most at risk, because they are at risk. And I think risk. People of Color were at risk. People who lived in communal situations, such as nursing homes, long term care, etc. Were at risk. So, you know, every country has to put in with the fact that they have an aging population. China, Japan, and, you know, people say, Oh, they respect the elderly. Well, you know, that may not be true that that’s the American dream that that they respect the elderly. So it’s true, what Marsha said, is that the clock? I think it could be phrased better, the quality of life is compromised. Yes, I think the phrasing is really the issue, because I didn’t see when I saw the first sentence, those who are vulnerable. I made either Oh, it’s those people who are at risk. So I didn’t think of vulnerability. I thought, a risk. Yeah. Same thing with the second one is that there is a falling birth rate all over the world. Yeah. And that is going to threaten the social safety net, for folks who rely on Social Security. Yeah. So
Unknown Speaker 59:27
thanks for these great comments. And I think those of you and a couple of you have said it who have said, You know what, the messaging in here is correct. But but maybe it’s not saying the best way. I think that’s, that’s there’s a lot there’s so much to that we all know, I think because you do when you’re working a lot, a lot, Senior Center, our demographics are changing. We do need to figure things out. That’s real. But the question is, how do we frame that in a way that is helpful? How do we frame that and communicate about that? In a way that doesn’t perpetuate negative stereotypes in a way that focuses on solutions that are going to benefit everybody. And similarly, it’s true older people ages are his age as a risk factor for COVID. How do we talk about COVID? in a way that’s going to promote that togetherness and safety for everybody, because again, it affects everybody. So this isn’t necessarily about this is these this slide is not about necessarily facts. This slide is about what’s effective communication about some of these realities. So that’s really the takeaway here. And I have another training other workshop that changed the narrative does that goes into those communication strategies, in a lot more detail than we’re going to go now. But we are going to hit on some of those solutions, because frameworks Institute, they not just looked at, what are these patterns of thinking? They also looked at given these patterns of thinking, how do we communicate in a way that’s effective, and by effective, I mean, measurably promote measurably decrease us versus them thinking measurably decrease implicit bias. And that’s really what what reframing aging is about. So we are going to get so just the interest of time, I’m going to move us forward. And we are going to touch on some of those things that said, there’s another workshop that’s going to go into those in more detail. And afterwards, I can share that information with Michelle, if you’re interested ever in attending one of those and going a little deeper into the recommendations. Okay, great discussion. Thank you so much. For everyone who’s brought up questions, or concerns. That’s why we have these workshops so we can talk about it. Okay. So we’ve talked, I think a lot about how these patterns have played out in the pandemic. So changing demographics. Another reason to fight ageism. Remember, we went over research that showed that it harms us individually, it harms our communities. Another reason to end ageism is because it’s going to benefit all of us. Again, there’s that sense of we are all in this together. So the graphic on the left is from the US Census Bureau. And it’s showing the population from 1960, broken out by Ange do the projected population in 2060, broken out by age and by gender. And I don’t think that’s going to be surprised to this group that we’re changing from that pyramid to the column. We’re getting older, here in Boulder County. And here, I have to refer to my notes, because I’m never shown them to get the numbers right. between 2020 and 2050, Boulder County’s population is projected to increase 33%. In that same time period, the population of people 60 Plus is projected to increase 58%. And in that same time period, the population in the county of folks who are at plus is projected to increase 244%. We’re getting we’re getting older, across across the country. And I think as prudence mentioned, I think across the world, in many in many parts of the world anyway. And so when we’re fighting just on now are doing for everybody. It’s not just folks who might be 60 plus now, but this is the trend, we’re all we’re all aging.
Unknown Speaker 1:03:32
Okay, so solutions, what do we do? So we talked a little bit about how do we reap? How do we frame things, if some of that framing we looked at was not effective? What is how do we do it? What so we’ll talk a little bit about that strategy. We’ll talk about intergenerational connections, implicit bias, and go through some of those frameworks Institute recommendations on changing language. So how do we frame things? Okay, so this is a big one. One of the big ideas behind frameworks and student recommendations, was talking about older adults as resources. So this was just an example, using our ingenuity to reimagine how we can use the talents of older adults to help us address the pandemic. What I would emphasize here is that this is not spin. So it’s a fact that being a greater age is a risk factor for COVID. It’s also a fact that older adults are resources that help our communities in all kinds of ways and that’s been true in the pandemic. So as I mentioned, I’ve been working with medical volunteers during COVID. And I can tell you that a lot of our older a lot of our volunteers who came out to do things like Volunteer of the hospital during search scenarios that I mentioned, to give vaccine that our clinics To help at testing sites to help at the COVID Recovery Center, which is a place for people who are unsheltered to quarantine, a lot of those people were older adults. So this is this is also reality. This isn’t the reality that we see necessarily in the media. But this is the reality that we are in. Here’s another example. And this has to do with a Denver council woman who happened to be older who, because of all of her experience and connections early in the pandemic, she was able to create the Colorado sewing coalition, which not only helped create masks to help save people’s lives, or make them safer, but also the jobs to people who are who had lost work during the pandemic. So again, talking about older adults as resources, that’s the big idea here. And as I said, it’s not spin, it’s just real. These are actual examples. We want to tell stories about aging that are more nuanced, and more accurate than the stories that we so often hear in the media that really do focus on the climb, and dependency. Another really effective way of addressing ageism, is intergenerational, positive intergenerational connections. So one of the programs that changing the narrative has is called on the same page. And it’s what it sounds like, it brings people from different generations together to have a conversation. So again, changing the narrative is based in Colorado, but they had a toolkit online for participants, so people could just run with it. So they have people participating around the world, and over 600 people doing this. And they’re also doing this now. So I think, again, they have a toolkit available on their website. And again, after the training, I can share with Michelle, various resources. But it’s something that you can do now. And the research is that those intergenerational connections, again, one of the most effective ways to reduce ageism, I think the research I saw was specifically about reducing ageism, with respect to older adults. But I would also guess, that it also reduces ageism toward younger people too, because of that contact. Okay.
Unknown Speaker 1:07:47
Another solution is addressing implicit bias. So bias that we don’t even necessarily know that we have. So we’ve talked already about all of these phrasing and imagery and stories that we hear that really do seem to have in an anti age bias, and how we can internalize that, again, without necessarily even knowing that we’re doing it. So what frameworks found and probably a lot of you are already aware of some of these implicit bias tests is if you are aware of implicit bias, you’re less likely to act on it to be swayed by it. So Harvard has on their website, various implicit bias tests that you can take to see how biased Are you or not about different groups, and one of them is based on age. And so that’s another way that people can do themselves something to address ageism. So we’ve already talked about the work might come from ourselves, and have we internalized ageism, how ageist are we one thing that we can do is start by examining our own beliefs, our own our own thoughts. And with the help of one of the implicit bias tests, and I think they ask you to register, but they’re free, and they don’t take very long. Alright, so frameworks Institute, as I mentioned, has given a number of recommendations. And just to underscore, their communications recommendations are based on research that shows when we frame things in these certain ways, it builds support for a trailing policies, it decreases implicit bias, and it decreases us versus them thinking it decreases othering. So again, this is all measurable. So as we go through these recommendations, there might be things that you think, I don’t agree with that i don’t like it, and, and that’s and that’s fine. It’s always People’s Choice, how they want to communicate. This is just to say, this is what the research says. is effective. So if our goal is to build an Age Friendly society to build support for Age Friendly policies to promote Age Friendly attitudes, here are some ways we can do that as simple as changing our language. So one of those recommendations is when we’re talking about ageism, to frame it in terms of confronting injustice. And what we’re appealing to here is that ideal, and it is only an ideal, but that ideal that we have in this country that everyone should be treated fairly. So no matter your race, no matter your age, no matter sexual orientation, all of those things. So this is aspirational. Obviously, we know that there are lots of ways in which people in our society are not treated fairly. Nonetheless, it’s what we want to work towards. So what framers found, is, when we’re talking about ageism, it’s effective to frame it in terms of justice, people should be treated fairly, no matter their age, we also need to define ageism. So I did that at the beginning of this workshop. One reason I do that is one, it’s just good practice. But two frameworks found that I think this is changing. But the very concept isn’t even necessarily in people’s minds, when you’re talking about ageism, they might not know they might never have heard the word might not know what you’re talking about, let alone be able to have an example of it. So we need to define it when we’re talking to people outside this aging services world. frameworks also found that it’s a really effective example to use workplace discrimination. And again, that’s sort of what I start with. It’s really specific, it’s concrete. And a lot of us either have experienced it ourselves or know someone who has, we can also explain implicit bias. And so it’s really important when we’re talking about ageism, in giving those examples to explain why it might even happen. Because if we don’t explain it and tell that story about what might cause this, people might not necessarily
Unknown Speaker 1:12:23
they will fill in their own explanation. And that explanation might or might not be accurate. So in this case, the explanation is the one that we’ve been talking about, there’s all this anti ages and messaging, we can internalize it, and then act accordingly on the basis of negative stereotypes we know even necessarily know that we have or have ever thought to examine. And then finally, we want to provide solutions. So even if you don’t have like the best solution ever, when we start talking about solutions, it starts people thinking about their own solutions. So it moves people away from that sense of fatalism we talked earlier about that sense of, there’s nothing we can do about this. This is awful. But you know, that’s just how this is how the world is. So here are some of the solutions that To be clear, changing the narrative has suggested. So these aren’t Boulder County AAA solutions necessarily, but things that change the narrative is like, you know, here are some possibilities. So one is pretty obvious. Train hiring managers on implicit bias. Another is not allowing employers to ask for high school graduation dates. So you can’t on an application in this country, ask how old you are. But you can ask legally, when did you graduate from high school. And that’s a pretty good indicator, usually of how old people are, which can give people a tool to think well, to make those negative assumptions that we’ve talked about, you know, if all you ask is, have you graduated from high school, you still getting job related information, arguably, but you’re not getting that information about someone’s age that should not be relevant. So just a couple examples of solutions. Alright, now we’re going to do some talk about some more specifics about those communication strategies that frameworks Institute talked about. So reframing. So again, here’s the swamp. I’ll share this presentation with Michelle afterwards. I know there’s a lot of information on this graphic. And by saying when I say the swamp, that’s frameworks Institute’s term for what the public thinks about aging. So it’s not a political commentary. It’s just meant to say, hey, here are these patterns of thinking and it’s complicated, just like a swamp is like an ecosystem. It’s complicated. So is how we think about aging and older adults is complicated. So the reason that this is important is because When we talk about aging and older adults, what we’re saying is being filtered through these patterns. And what that means is whether or not we intended what we say can go terribly awry, because we’re accidentally activating negative assumptions. So I think we’ve talked about the COVID example, we talked about changing demographic as example. Here’s another one. And then we’ll start to move into some specific recommendations. Early in the pandemic, I went to my optometrist. And as we were chatting, she wanted to know, so what do you do, and I talked about the rest of it and companion volunteer program, which pairs volunteers to connect socially with older adults who might be lonely or experiencing isolation. So I told her about this program. And what she said to me was, a very nice person was, Oh, those poor people, they must be so scared. And what I intended to talk about was, there’s this great program, pandemic is hard on everybody, a lot of us are feeling a degree of isolation. Here’s this program that lets people connect, and help ease that sense of isolation and loneliness. That’s what I intended for her to, to understand. What she understood instead was all older adults are really lonely and isolated, and they’re not leaving their homes. And they’re really frightened. And that’s not to say that there were not people who for really excellent reasons, were not leaving their homes, and we were all scared. But in her mind, it was only about older adults, who were experiencing that isolation that fear that loss. And so that was an example where what I said, accidentally activated these negative assumptions about older adults being uniquely vulnerable and dependent, when that’s not what I intended. So it becomes really important when we’re talking about aging and older adults, to use language that’s not going to activate those assumptions, but instead, frame things more positively. So the question was well, about those changing demographics. It’s true in the sense that things are changing, and we need to change with them, because policies are based on that
Unknown Speaker 1:17:26
pyramid, caught instead of that column of demographics. So what frameworks recommending is framing those changing demographics, in terms of, we’re living longer, healthier lives, the reason those demographics are changing, is because we are living longer and healthier lives. And that’s a good thing. And so then we need to figure out creative solutions to ensure that we can all thrive as we age. So yes, we can absolutely talk about changing demographics. And yes, we can absolutely talk about, we need to do something about this, because we’re not prepared as a community or as a society. But how do we frame that effectively? And this is what frameworks was found as effective. So we want to avoid talking about the changing demographics, in terms of disasters, because what that does is it makes people think, hmm, that fatalism thing, there’s nothing we can do. This is awful. But here we are. But instead, we want people start thinking about solutions. And again, emphasize that this helps everybody, which it does, this isn’t about an us versus them. This is about helping everybody. So one of those recommendations, as you’d expect, is to use those inclusive terms as we all age. So yes, you can talk about similarly COVID and higher risk factors, including age, including diabetes, including weight, including being immunocompromised. But we can do that in a way that emphasizes how what we do affects everybody else, that when we’re all working together, it protects everybody, including protects everybody, as I said, in a way that helps make sure that there are still enough healthcare resources to care for everybody for a disease that has killed people of all ages. So yeah, we can talk about those things. But are there better and worse ways to talk about things? And then finally, Oh, we don’t necessarily want to frame aging in terms of a struggle. Battling aging, fighting aging. So if you think about that, have you ever battled something that was positive, like I’m gonna battle, this best day that I’ve ever had? Probably not. So if you’re fighting something, it’s probably because it’s a bad thing. Whereas if we frame aging, it’s just another normal process of human development which if you is, that’s a lot more positive. And again, I would argue also more accurate. And it goes back to talking about framing older adults as resources where we continue to learn, we still have community connections. And that’s not to say that things like social isolation doesn’t occur or that there are struggles. But it is just another process of human development. And we do still continue to to matter, and we still continue to be connected to communities. Um, one thing I didn’t mention, which I showed at the top, and I’m hoping that, well, we can talk as long as you want is another point. Another small part of the research from frameworks is to avoid the term senior, and instead use older adults older person, or just talk about the population that you have in mind. So people 60 Plus, as an example, this is a small part of the research. The reason that this recommendation is here at all, is because what frameworks found is that terms senior elderly, senior citizen, in the public’s mind, are associated with higher degrees of incompetence. What that means is when we use those words, we can inadvertently, not intentionally be reinforcing those negative stereotypes. So couple things about that. It’s a small piece of the research. So I think of a person continues to use the word senior. And I know some older adults, that’s their preferred term. And there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as you are using some of these other recommendations, those big picture recommendations like talking about are changing demographics and positive ways. Using inclusive terms such as we and us, framing older adults as resources, that’s going to be a lot more important than whether or not you get hung up on using senior versus older person.
Unknown Speaker 1:22:07
Then the last thing I would say about senior versus other terms for people who are older, is that usually someone asks, What about the term elder as a cultural term that’s used as an honorific and there is nothing in the frameworks research that says that there’s anything wrong with that. So this isn’t about using elder as a cultural term as an honorific. That’s completely fine. Okay, I’m going to stop there and see if people have questions. People usually have questions at this point. And you’ve been an awesomely engaged group. So go pause a little longer.
Unknown Speaker 1:22:51
So Carrie, and I have been in this business 40 years, and we have generally moved towards older adult or older person, or 60, plus sort of that descriptor. And yet, we have never find a new found a new and better name for the Longmont senior center. And I think Jimmy made some comments earlier, that sort of resonated with me. So on one hand, we want to talk about older adults, as a unique group with unique needs. And we also don’t want to create stereotypes and opportunities for discrimination. And it is, it is a challenge to to do both and sometimes. And so I think, I think back to when I first started here in 1981, and we had customers who still wanted to be known as Mrs. john smith. Right? Not Hazel, they wanted to be Mrs. john smith, and if you called them or wrote on a letter, Hazel Smith, they would call me and be angry with me. You know, they were Mrs. john smith. And, and I was 21. And I was Ms. You know, I was Ms. Michelle Kennedy, you know, um, and so taking cues from people, regardless of their age, I think is really important. And so how folks want to be known is is a challenge and we have members of this advisory board who are perfectly have stated in board meetings are perfectly comfortable being senior seniors and it’s it’s a good thing. And so I appreciated that you sort of opened with it, and it’s okay. But I think the cue is being aware and following people’s leads, right. Um, I no longer let use the term silver tsunami, though I’ve had colleagues who use it, I prefer not for the same sort of the disaster. The disaster implications. And like I said earlier, we we have to face the realities of care for a growing number of older, older persons and what that costs in terms of financially but also emotionally. So I think, again, it’s being more clear about what is the issue behind the term in some of these realities, so those are my closing thoughts.
Unknown Speaker 1:25:56
I appreciate you saying all of them. And I agree completely, I think it’s really important to respect what people want to be called. So I sometimes find when I give these workshops, people get really upset about not using the word senior, but I’m really attached to that word, same organization. And, again, it’s a small part of the research, I think we do need to respect people’s preferences. And I think there’s a lot of the other stuff in the recommendations that are going to help help us a lot more like framing older adults as resources. Okay, so I know we’re just about on time. So I’m gonna move this forward. So a little bit more about pandemic. And we’ve talked about this a little bit. Yes, the recommendation not weakened, vulnerable, that creates a stigma it others people, but people’s greater risk factors. We’ve already talked about elderly and someone brought this up before it might have been prudent, instead of talking about nursing home residents is more accurate to talk about people on congregate living. We know that while nursing homes, long term care was hard hit. That’s reality. We also know that issue was not is not unique to that we saw outbreaks in prisons and in college dorms and in meatpacking plants, it has two people in close quarters. So I think, again, it’s not accurate to only talk about COVID items of Oh, just those nursing home residents, people in close quarters for long periods of time. Okay, a couple examples of how to respond when people are saying, ages things. As I mentioned earlier, one of my favorites is well what do you mean by that, and to me, that just opens up a conversation. It’s not accusing us just tell me more about that. And then we can have a conversation. Um, some other things are like if people are calling you honey, or Sweetie, or you prefer not to be called the senior just saying what you do prefer to be called, including if you prefer to be called a senior. Um, and then if people aren’t giving full explanations, asking for the explanation. So here are things that change the narrative has always that people can be involved in this movement. And again, I will share the PowerPoint and a couple of resources of Michelle, to share with everybody if that sounds good. But I said, I know we’re out of time. So I’m just going to stop there and see if there are any, any last questions or comments in the question that I would have for you. The comment I have for you is thanks for being here. Thanks for having that conversation, including the people who are like, I don’t agree with that. Because this is how we as a community get better as we have those conversations. And the question I have for you is if any of this has spoken to you, if ageism, you think yeah, this is a problem. My question would be, what do you want to do about it? What What is your adventure? What might you do, even if it’s as simple as changing one thing that you might say or not? Okay, now, I’ll be quiet. Any questions or comments from the group?
Unknown Speaker 1:29:08
Well, thanks for this presentation. One of the things I just want to comment on what Michelle has said, you know, in the beginning, Michelle said, you know, people are saying 60 is the new 40. So that is a social cue saying, people who are 60 may not want to be seen as seniors, they may want to be seen as a person and are probably much more they probably have worked outside of the home. So, they have a totally different perspective. on what their ages. Yeah. Thank you, right. Good point. Yep. Anything else, but thank you for the presentation.
Unknown Speaker 1:30:08
So Carrie, I had to attended a, changing the narrative workshop A while ago to cultivate. And it just makes me stop and think before I speak and use the canned phrases. Yeah, I appreciate that. And,
Unknown Speaker 1:30:28
again, it’s kind of a no shame rule of rule with with all of this. I mean, I’m continuing to, you know, I’ve given probably a dozen of these workshops, and I continue to learn and deepen my understanding. And I think it’s just going to be lifelong, like with really all kinds of deepening our understanding about equity, and getting better. I agree.
Unknown Speaker 1:30:50
Yeah, he’s a great name, just to let you know, things change from senior helpers, or whatever they were to cultivate. Greed cultivates good.
Unknown Speaker 1:31:04
And I’ve also started to think after listening to this, that I also have implicit biases against the young. And it’s not a one way street. So I really have to think about that and work on that. So that’s my job from now on. Me to agree. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 1:31:28
you know, I think the complexity of aging really, is what I get to try to kind of wrap my head around a little bit more. I mean, I’ve often said, aging is at least five generations of people with all of the generational and social and other elements of diversity within that, not to mention all the other kinds. So I think, really starting to, to think about it in its complexity is something I’m going to sort of play in my own brain. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 1:32:09
I love that. Michelle, like, complexity is a good word. And I also loved a comment earlier that people just wanting to be seen as people. That’s really what probably all of us want is not to be put into a box, but to be treated as a person. Yeah. All right. Well, thank you so much, again, for your time. And I really appreciate the discussion as well. So thank you, Carrie. All right.
Unknown Speaker 1:32:37
Thanks so much, Kerry. Take care. Have a great rest of your talking. Okay. I will need to okay. Robin do her magic, right.
Unknown Speaker 1:32:55
Good job, Robin. So July meeting, can we will we meet in July? Because we haven’t in attendance? And will we be in person otherwise you might not have anybody showing up?
Unknown Speaker 1:33:19
So what what was the path? Did the senior advisor cancel not meet in July and August?
Unknown Speaker 1:33:26
Usually conflicted with the July 4 holiday. This year. It’s not as big of conflict because the holiday will be Monday. And the board meeting is this is your your wide open to do whatever you prefer.
Unknown Speaker 1:33:48
Whoo, I vote for inverse and anybody else for in person? Whoa, whoa, it’s kind of unanimous to me. So we’ll have a room to meet him. Yay.
Unknown Speaker 1:34:07
So I will um, I can move that forward. And I will need to talk with the city clerk and Sheila maybe you are kind of my go to because remember, we were going to start recording our board meetings before COVID. And I don’t know where that landed with long speak media. So I will do some behind the scenes maybe get with Sheila maybe get with a city clerk or Marcia may have already they’re grappling with this as city council but the recording piece will still I assume continue. But I will definitely check that out.
Unknown Speaker 1:34:49
Here. Michelle, did you mean llama pelvic media lpm. Yeah, what did I say? Pick which is fine. It’s kind of a good name. Yes, that is Correct Marsha.
Unknown Speaker 1:35:02
I’ll actually be over there this afternoon. So I will mention it. Because, you know, for a couple of them, I think Sheila and I both did this, we just checked out a meevo. From lpm, and brought it to the face to face meeting.
Unknown Speaker 1:35:22
Thanks, Marcia. And just let me know, and I’ll get with Don, also.
Unknown Speaker 1:35:28
Susan, should we ask people because we just finished this presentation? What if they found the presentation of value? And what people’s thinking? Your comments? Yes, Marsha.
Unknown Speaker 1:35:47
Oh, I have what First of all, I really love things in general that come out of the frameworks Institute. I, I actually encountered them for the first time at an area agency on aging meeting. And so they do do good work. I do think I, you know, with Jeanine that that, in this case, they were a little heavier on avoiding trigger than they needed to be. Versus, you know, to the point where it could obscure the factual message. And, and I hope we don’t have to go that far. To stay civilized.
Unknown Speaker 1:36:30
I agree, Marsha, I have to think a little bit about my response to this meeting. Because I, you know, I have some different point of views. And before I express that I’ve always found what works best for me is to take a look at what I’m not responding to, but reacting to, and I don’t have the same thought process in and around age. So I might share that with all of you, maybe at the next meeting, but not at this meeting. Because I need time to process. I really do.
Unknown Speaker 1:37:23
Thank you. I thought I have to agree with Marsha, I think. Um, can I say this, that coaching on what language to use is never a permanent, it is a fleeting thing that happened. It’s a fleeting moment. It’s just like all those things you went through of sexual descript. You know, workplace harassment and all of that. You go to a meeting, you stay an hour and you you maybe you pick up one thing from that, but most likely it goes who’s ever let’s say the harasser is it goes right out of their head. Okay. So I think we have to be careful. I think some of the points were were valid. Um, I found for me, at least, and this is only for me, I found it a little bit too preachy. So that was my first response is that you know, yes, it is the goal, that everyone treats each other with respect, regardless of your PRC, whatever you are, that that respect. And I think I would have wanted the presentation to focus on respect for all groups. Because I hear a lot of folks say, Oh, those millennials, well, you know, you have to remember you were 22 wants to bait to say that but you know, it’s, it’s not. You know, we have a tendency as a society to divide people. And I think that’s the bigger issue, then. ageism is just another division. So I would have liked to have to see a presentation on kind of divisiveness at all levels. So that’s just my comment. However, I thought she, you know, Kerry did a good job. You know, she accomplish what she was sent out to do.
Unknown Speaker 1:40:02
I felt rather that we were being expected as older people, seniors, elderly people, or whatever to make, to do the work to make changes, right? It’s really everybody else that needs to make changes. Just the same. As I said earlier, I have, could I say some negative thoughts about the young, I don’t expect the young people to be told, well, you’ve got to change, you’ve got to do this to make other people respect to you. The same. So I think the audience was, I hate to say it, the rest of them, as opposed to us. I know, we weren’t supposed to divide between us and them. But it’s very mean that has to make the change.
Unknown Speaker 1:40:59
was ironic was that when she was saying, you know, tap the resources of the elderly? And everyone on this call is modeling that For heaven’s sake. Already?
Unknown Speaker 1:41:16
Teaching I’d like to, yes, I’d like to share something with you. And I guess it comes, it means something to me, because of my attitude about being my age, or a senior, or whatever I am, I just see myself as Janine. But someone asked Robert Redford, one time, why he didn’t get work done on his face, because he used to be so beautiful. And now he’s got all these wrinkles. And he said, because my face is the roadmap of my life. And I hold that dear. And I guess I’m oblivious to a lot of things. Because I think of myself as a person not an age or what I did, or what I do, other than being a Grandma, I’m pretty set on that idol. But it just, it’s just your point of view, I guess. And, and I’m amazed that all this research that shows that I’m being so discriminated against, that’s what I have to think about. I don’t I don’t see that or feel that right now. So that’s what I got to be aware of. And there’s too much work in this world right now.
Unknown Speaker 1:42:50
I am, I really appreciate the honesty. And I love it, that there is differences of opinion around this and that it was an environment that we could talk about differences and thought and use it as the provocativeness of it to just really sort of think for ourselves, but also think, as older adults in the community, and I’m including myself in that and as leaders around services for older adults. And what does that mean? And so, I think Carrie has great grace. And she did, she did a good job. And I just hope that we keep thinking about this. And what that means and when language or behavior or choice or strategic planning does not serve people. And, and and does not work with people that for me is like where’s that barrier? Where is that? I want to make sure we’re not putting barriers up for people or discouragement. So appreciate prudence, you know, you you comments about the word sr? And when is that a barrier? Oh, yeah. You know, so I think it just it’s provocative that I, I’m one of those folks who loved philosophy classes, especially the ones that I didn’t know what I was getting into because of the conversation and the learning. And so this was kind of that for me. provocative. Thank you. Thank you all. Julie, were you gonna say something?
Unknown Speaker 1:44:40
Well, I, um, so I think you know, that for me personally, there’s a lot to think about, right? Because I am 54. And so I’m starting in that path of like, you know, I have clients and they’re absolutely adorable. They call me the real estate mom. Right, because I could be their mother, right? And so I’m starting to, at this age, starting to feel some of those some of those terms or hear some of those terms, or so. So it’s an interesting thing to think about in terms of like, how, how do I change my language around getting older, and my mindset that can, can educate the people that are younger than me. Right? So I do in a way feel like it has to start with me. And then it also has to start with, with my outlook towards my getting older, and the people that I communicate with that are older than me. Right? So so I think I’m kind of in this really interesting spot in this whole conversation. Because there are certain things that I’ve said in my, you know, in my lifetime, but of course, I’ve said, oh, wow, she looks great. Or he looks great for his age. I said that about myself. Right. So. So it’s, it’s an interesting process, you know, do we do I think that in the presentation, there were some language, you know, maybe revolving around the COVID situation, that could have been the language could have been more appropriate to be more inclusive of groups that were vulnerable? Yes, I do. And I think that some, some people did a really poor job, you know, at that. Um, so the other part is to is that Sheila had mentioned that, you know, she has her own bias against younger people, I will tell you, I do too. And so I think there’s, there’s really a lot of work that needs to go in, across all generations. Right. And, and how do we get how do we create a system that, that addresses that across all ages? Right? Yes.
Unknown Speaker 1:47:19
So yeah, I think it’s working towards adjust. You know, democracy is a goal. And working towards a, a, a, just an equal society is the work, regardless whether you’re a person of color, whether you’re your male, female, gay, straight, is that, you know, a young old it to treat people respectfully. And sometimes when people say things, I was just on a call a couple of weeks ago at work, and it was with the CEO and a couple other people. And one of the things one of the directors said, Well, I don’t see color. You know, I almost said, Oh, really? Like, that is old school. I mean, it. I couldn’t believe it. It’s like, Huh, that’s an odd thing to say. Um, you know, so acknowledging and respecting people is I think the key regardless of age or anything else. Yeah. Great. So you had a comment? Okay. Well,
Unknown Speaker 1:48:28
I was just gonna say, I thought it was a great presentation. I’m glad I tuned in, although I want. I’m working in the background. So I’ve had some distractions. But it is an eye opener, and I am involved with people on multiple levels. As an aging professional, I go on tours, extended travel tours with people. And I think reading the room is a really important thing. I will visit with somebody. And they all say, Hey, how are you doing? And they’re like, Hey, I’m upright, and I’m above ground. I’m really happy. And you know, it hits me hard. It’s like, oh, okay, well, good. I’m glad you’re glad you’re here. And I wish she had a little better outlook, you know, but I can’t correct everybody. So I think it’s really smart. Let’s meet them where they are in if I can throw out a couple of morsels every now and then to help reframe things. I tried to do that, but I don’t feel like I can fall on my sword. Every time I hear something. Somebody says because I’m really active in pickleball. And it’s a it’s a competitive sport. And I hear people saying things, and I want to hit them with a pickleball sometimes, you know, I just want to whack them. But, um, again, I think we all have opportunities to move the dial a little bit forward in when we take him with grace, it will be helpful. And just as a side note, I’m watching Netflix series called atypical. And it’s about a young person with who’s on the spectrum, going through high school and learning life skills, and how people around him figure out where to meet and where he is his parents, his friends and all this stuff. It’s really a sweet, charming series with a lot of messages in it. So if you’re looking for something fun to watch, it’s called a typical, it’s on Netflix, it’s got like three seasons. And you could equate what this guy is going through with ageism, in that there’s a lot of people around us that have a lot of different viewpoints. And how do you walk through this world, recognizing people where they are and helping move the dial forward, without becoming the red flag wherever you walk in the room, and everybody groans, because they know what you’re gonna say. So that was a great presentation, I missed some of it, I’m going to go back and watch it. And I appreciate all of you for participating and being on a board where we can make a difference in the community in a lot of different ways. Yeah, Marsha, thanks. I
Unknown Speaker 1:51:39
just want to put in a plug for that Harvard implicit bias exercises, because let’s just say they’re a better use of your time than then doing the crossword puzzle, because they really, you know, you don’t you don’t want to take them as Holy Writ or anything, but they really open your eyes about your own reactions. And and I tend to take a couple of them repeat a couple of them every six months or so, just to see how I’m doing. good suggestion.
Unknown Speaker 1:52:15
So I did, you know, prudence mentioned, the naming of the senior center, and I thought maybe it would be nice to have called the thrive community.
Unknown Speaker 1:52:26
Right. Right. or something. Cultivate was a great nap. I mean, what has been one of the best ways?
Unknown Speaker 1:52:38
What was the name I didn’t hear what Julie said, I’m sorry. I said thrive community.
Unknown Speaker 1:52:48
You know, Rhodes scholar, the tour company used to be called elder hostel. And then they found out that people from 50 and above did not want to be called elder. And they change it to wrote on a D scholar. So it balanced being on the road, and having wisdom or being a scholar. So it’s, it’s interesting, I would never have gone on a trip, it was called elda hostel. I’ll be honest, I would have been like,
Unknown Speaker 1:53:28
let me just say, Michelle and I have debated this for over 20 years, what we call the senior center, and it is really hard finding the right landing spot. And I hear other senior centers that have changed their name to active older adult community center. And I just say you’re just you’re just masking you’re trying you know, what is the flavour? I’m, I’m I’m a big community center person, I refer to this as a community center. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 1:54:04
You probably need to hire someone from the outside to be quite frank foot Colden and build in Navy but you know, someone some kind of communication person outside of Longmont to get a new name because I think that’s what cultivate that. And I know that Rhodes Scholar did that. Um, because you you, you know, when you’re in it, you have your own bias. And I think you get a fresh look and you get a look, that’s more universal. So we can ask the city council people to cough up a few bucks.
Unknown Speaker 1:54:44
You know, it. This may be very simplistic, but if I wanted to ask what the name should be, I think it would be to ask the people Well, that is that attended that our part, I don’t even know what to call them anymore older adults seniors wedding, we are, you know, but ask them what they plan the center to be called because that probably would be more you know more significant to me I find the people that come there to be very proud and protective of the fact that it’s their place. And I don’t know that you could call it Charlie for all they care. It’s the place that they come as a group for support companionship, food, inclusiveness, and I don’t want I don’t want to lose that specialists. I don’t. That’s what the consultant will do focus groups.
Unknown Speaker 1:56:11
Quick back story. I didn’t know that there was any consultant involved in that name change. And unlike where the heck did they get that name? wasn’t so sure I liked it. It was there was actually an interview done. It was something that I said I think they swiped it from the interview. So Michelle, I have a question for you.
Unknown Speaker 1:56:45
Unknown Speaker 1:56:45
do we have a number of candidates? And do we have an interview date?
Unknown Speaker 1:56:50
Yes, and yes. So we have two vacancies. We have two candidates. Thank you. Janine did some recruitment. So that was good. And the interview is scared. Sad, and I think council will make decisions on the 29th. Does that sound right? Um, yes. Council scheduled to make decisions and appointments on the council meeting on the 29th. So by July meeting, we should have two new board members. Great. Any other things you want to share with us? Including another man so talking? Might be thrilled about that. I’m so I just have one quickie before we close. I think I told you all Larry hold group has resigned his last day in the office is Friday, June 11. The position is posted to fill. It closes on Friday, June 25. If there is a board member who is interested in being a part of that hiring interview team, Larry’s position is recreation coordinator. He works directly for the recreation supervisor, Megan, and Megan had the position Teresa held for many years. So if there’s somebody the interviews would likely take place sometime the second or third week of July. If anyone’s interested in being a part of that, please let me know. either now or email me, Susan, you’d like to okay. And I will follow up with you about that interview process. We are also probably going to be hiring. It’s not open yet. But another resource specialists who will be focused on the Longmont Housing Authority properties. And so I will know more probably at the July meeting or later this month about that hiring timeframe for that position. So that should be coming up as well. We are opening we’re open. We have proposed that starting July 6, we will be open till 5pm and starting September 6, we will go back to our pre COVID hours in the evening. And so we are starting to reach out to groups we’re dealing with you know no masks. We are not ready to take rentals yet but we’re trying to work with some other city events including city council retreat. They are in need of space on July 9. So we’re trying to work with those kinds of things. Opening is going well. The fitness students are thrilled to be Be able to, to be back as the knitters were here today it is. I just cried last Wednesday when I talked to the knitters, I mean to have voices and laughter in the building. And it’s just, it’s just fabulous. So, I think that’s my quick update, Susan. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 2:00:23
I just have one thing, Julie, Sheila and I took a tour of the three of the senior housing, places to own homestead, which are really quite beautiful. And Janine, I saw the apartments being built. But you know, I just read a study nationwide, which said that for each new apartment, there’ll be either point six or point nine parking spaces. So just to let you know, I don’t know where you get a half a call, but I guess you do. Um, we also visited Aspen meadows. And so that was kind of fun. I think we met some of the residents there. And everyone, people we met, not everyone, people we met, um, really liked where they live. You know, and it was impressive. The homestead ones I understand a new with those were absolutely gorgeous.
Unknown Speaker 2:01:33
You know? Yeah, we were very impressed with them all. And people were at the table that we spoke with, as Bruton said, really enjoyed living there and said, Do you want to see my apartment? Yeah. They are very happy.
Unknown Speaker 2:01:53
I’d like to acknowledge to the extreme, extreme hard work that the senior center did to participate in the renovations of that senior housing, getting people out, getting them alternative housing, getting their stuff moved out, getting them all moved back in. I mean, I am touched and proud, Michelle, of all the work that everyone did there in order to facilitate everyone being able to have that done for them. It was extraordinary, just extraordinary.
Unknown Speaker 2:02:43
I’m really glad Teresa’s on the call. Hopefully, she heard that because she and Amy kicked that off last fall. Theresa and Amy set a very high standard for that. And then a couple of our recreation colleagues picked it up in January. And they recently did a debrief of that rehab, and they have put a lot of ideas in place. So that when the next Lh a property undergoes rehab next year, they’ve got some good, good plans for that. Theresa, I don’t know if you were gonna say anything I see you popped in and out there.
Unknown Speaker 2:03:22
So one of the things when we when we were toying around was the comment from some of the folks that we had met at Aspen meadows, that, you know, they were grateful and how, how nice of a job it was that they had a place to go to, that they had everything taken taken care of. They moved out moved in all of those things. So I think, you know, it sounded like it was a you know, even though it was a disruption to their life, right? It it was made fairly smooth. Right.
Unknown Speaker 2:03:55
So are we calling this as we’re going over time? This is someone who want to make a motion to adjourn.
Unknown Speaker 2:04:07
Seconded by Julie. You bet. Thank you, everybody. I look forward to seeing you all in person. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Everybody.
Unknown Speaker 2:04:21
Thank you all. Thank you. Thank you. Take care. Thank you. Bye.