Talking points for Champions

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Start by discussing the concept of active aging—being engaged in life to the fullest extent possible, within the seven dimensions of wellness: physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, professional, environmental and social. Give some examples from your own life. Talk about the relationship of this concept to ICAA’s Changing the Way We Age® Campaign.

 

When addressing your peers, help build awareness of ageist stereotypes and show how self-stereotyping can stand in the way of self-fulfillment. For example:

  • I’m too old to do X activity.

  • “They” don’t want seniors here.

  • I can’t learn anything new at this stage of life.

  • I can’t express my anger because they’ll think I’m just a crotchety older person.

  • I won’t try to get that job; they’ll never hire me because I’m too old.

  • I guess I should start taking medications; everyone else my age does.

  • Why should I exercise? It’s downhill from here anyway.

Help counter those negative self-perceptions. Maybe you’ve overcome some of them yourself. Maybe you’ve recently become more aware of stereotypes on television, in the movies, or in advertising. Share your experiences and encourage others to share theirs. The goal is to come up with positive messages to counter the negative ones. For example:

  • It can’t hurt to try X activity and see what happens.

  • I’m entitled to go where I want.

  • I want to tap into my potential and learn X. Lots of other people like me are doing the same thing.

  • I’m entitled to express my feelings.

  • I have a lot to offer…May as well give it a shot and see if they appreciate my experience.

  • I don’t have to bow to peer pressure.

  • This is a new chapter of my life…Let’s see what I can do next.

When addressing younger audiences, help build awareness of ageist stereotypes, both in the media and possibly also in a younger person’s family or group of friends. Help overturn some of those stereotypes by discussion and example.

 

Some key messages for both audiences include:

  • We are all aging/getting older from the moment we’re born.

  • There is no magic age at which someone suddenly becomes “older” versus “younger”—it’s all relative.

  • Aging is not synonymous with disease; it’s not something to be “cured.”

  • Aging is a fact of life, not something to be scorned, ridiculed, or “fought.”

  • “Anti-aging” is a misnomer. No one can go against aging; no product or service can make someone grow younger rather than older. The term is prejudicial because it implies something is wrong with aging when, in fact, it is a natural process that every living thing on earth goes through.

  • Older people have a rich store of experience to draw upon. This experience is a valuable asset that actually grows even richer with use—in business, with friends and family, in volunteer endeavors, in avocations.

  • ICAA’s Changing the Way We Age® Campaign is calling on all sectors of society to change its vision of aging from decline to opportunity—and to welcome the tremendous human potential and contributions of its older population.

Click here to download talking points (word document)

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