As the President of Markentum, people often ask me why our agency is focused on marketing to senior living. Why have we chosen to be an agency with expertise in both current marketing practices and senior living knowledge? This is a great question that I love to answer! This past week at the 2019 LeadingAge National Annual Meeting and Expo in San Diego, California, I was once again reminded of Markentum’s “why.”
What is LeadingAge?
LeadingAge’s mission is to be “the trusted voice for aging” with a vision for “an America freed from ageism.” Ageism, or the prejudice on the grounds of a person’s age, has been more recently brought to light as something that is very real and present in our lives. The impacts of the negative stereotypes towards aging and older adults can be found throughout our society, including the media, the workplace, and even in government policy. LeadingAge understands that we all must continue to address these discriminatory attitudes and work towards creating a society that treats aging adults with the dignity, respect, and fairness they deserve.
If you are interested in further understanding ageism, I recommend the book, Ageism: Stereotyping and Prejudice Against Older Persons, that Todd D. Nelson authored with the help of an interdisciplinary group of scholars from gerontology, psychology, sociology, and communication fields.
Breaking Negative StereotypeS Surrounding Aging
Throughout the 2019 LeadingAge National Annual Meeting and Expo, there were various speakers, workshops, and meaningful conversations happening that contributed to the idea that we are all responsible for working towards shifting the attitude around ageism. I attended a session where a panel shared their research regarding the use of creative exercises such as group singing, poetry, and public speaking to stimulate the brain and increase cognitive health. One of the things that they highlighted to us in the session was that even though outward appearances may have indicated heavy impairment, the moment residents with cognitive health challenges were engaged in the various creative exercises, they showed a remarkable ability to demonstrate a full understanding of what was taking place.
We are all familiar with the age-old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but this resonated with me on a whole new level after this session. Are we truly giving people with perceived challenges the full opportunity to engage, or do we pass by them, leaving them isolated and alone?
rECOGNIZING THOSE WHO HONOR OLDER ADULTS
As a member of the Board of Directors for LeadingAge Tennessee, I also had the privilege of recognizing and honoring Laura Jo, who was brought on stage for her volunteering efforts that have brought joy, encouragement, and connection to aging adults in Tennessee. Even at a young age, Laura Jo was able to articulate how her volunteerism has had a dramatic impact in a positive way on her life as well. What a great example to us all that we need to start as soon as possible in sharing the message of care and advocacy!
These are just a few examples of the different ways that LeadingAge National continues to remind me that Markentum is a part of an amazing community of people that genuinely care for others. I am thankful to connect with people that can see the importance of advocating for aging adults.
Through our work here at Markentum, we get the opportunity to provide resources that help people to recognize that attitudes need to be changed, and we can help restore dignity and honor to those in danger of having those things removed from their lives. We look forward to more opportunities like LeadingAge National to learn and connect.
If you would like to connect at an upcoming conference, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today!