Own Your Age — And Resist Ageism

This post is adapted from remarks that AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins delivered on the opening day of the Life@50+ national event and expo in Miami. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Just think about that for a moment. It’s an intriguing question. How does your age affect the way you behave, what you do and what you don’t do? How often do we give in to society’s – or the media’s – idea of what “old” …

Intergenerational Selfies With a Purpose

A selfie can’t change the world — or can it, just a little? That’s the hope behind two social media campaigns right now: Grantmakers in Aging’s #GenTogether and Age UK’s #NotByMySelfie. My heart did a dance when I spotted them on Twitter this month. They’re certainly not the first nonprofits to mobilize people via personal snaps, but they’re the first I’ve seen to honor intergenerational connection this way. They’re calling for friends, families, neighbors, coworkers and caregivers of all ages …

Oh, Grow Up! Four Ways to Fight Ageism

Fuming fashionistas and bitter beauties, I feel your pain. Yes, it’s 2014 and ageism continues to plague the fashion industry. Older women may be driving much of today’s growth in social media and online shopping, but I dare you to find a single model who resembles us on any major retail site. (We do pop up in commercials and ads for sexual dysfunction, diets, probiotics and luxury cruises – big whoop!) A few forward-looking companies are bucking the trend. So …

Faygo Sued for Age Discrimination – by Founder’s Grandson

Detroit-based Faygo, a fixture in the soft drink industry since 1907, is being sued for age discrimination by the grandson of one of the company’s founders. Hugh Rosenthal, 70, says he lost his job as Faygo’s director of marketing two years ago simply because of his age. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, in which he seeks lost wages and damages, Rosenthal argues that if he’d been younger “he would not have been terminated.” “I took so much pride …

Grandma Betty: Why ‘Cute’ Can’t Capture It

Let me first say I love what’s going on with Grandma Betty, the Indiana octogenarian turned Instagram star. When Betty was diagnosed with terminal cancer, her great-grandson Zach opened an account (@grandmabetty33) to chronicle her journey. More than 309,000 followers later, what started as a project for friends and family has turned into a worldwide sensation. I just love that the bond between a great-grandmother and her teenage great-grandson, more than 60 years her junior, has inspired an outpouring of …

Goodbye Ageism! Shifting an Old Stereotype

I’m positive: You couldn’t pick a better place to have an International Conference on Positive Aging this week (or any week). It isn’t just because it’s in Florida, but also because it’s specifically in Sarasota County, which happens to have the highest percentage of people age 85-plus in the nation. The event’s host, the Sarasota  non-profit foundation Institute for the Ages, recruits and engages older people and organizations to conduct research on aging issues, connecting companies with their target audience, Sarasota …