Example from state unit on aging
In early March 2020, Claire Côté was new in her role at Connecticut’s Department of Aging and Disability Services (CT ADS) and excited about sharing what she learned in a two-day training presented by the National Center to Reframe Aging (previously known as the Reframing Aging Initiative) with the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) in her state. And then the world changed. Not only did the pandemic create significant risks for older adults, but it also ignited a wildfire of ageist ideas and discourse.
Claire was ready for this moment — and seized it to create a movement. Having spent her career advocating with and for older people, Claire has built a robust network of colleagues — advocates and aging services providers — which she put to work as she raised awareness about the tools and principles developed by the National Center to Reframe Aging. Within CT ADS, Claire shared resources to reframe aging during staff meetings and on the agency’s internal web for all new and existing staff.
CT was engaged in writing the 2021-2023 State Plan on Aging at this time, and Claire used her seat at the table to shape framing decisions. She helped ensure the Plan avoided what could easily have been crisis framing, and advanced ingenuity and resilience. She also successfully advocated for including the National Center into the State Plan, as a strategy to promote greater inclusiveness and engagement in aging services. Thanks to Claire’s influence, the plan focused on helping older adults “achieve wellbeing and maximum independence in ways that value, empower, and engage them.” As Claire looks ahead to the next plan for CT, she anticipates well-framed messaging and initiatives that embody their efforts to reframe aging in the state.
Since 2020, Claire has led by example, modeling well-framed language in everyday communications, department publications, and formal presentations to groups like the statewide organization for senior center staff and the regional conference for New England’s Resident Service Coordinators. Her story demonstrates how a well-positioned person can make a big difference. Like Claire, staff within State Units on Aging who have access to and influence with Area Agencies on Aging and other aging services providers can be a liaison between the National Center and the field of aging within their state.
“Most recently, we have been faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. This unprecedented situation has tested our aging network infrastructure as well as our ADS SUA emergency plan. We have witnessed the strength, dedication, ingenuity, and resilience of our aging and disability network, including the Area Agencies on Aging, Elderly Nutrition Providers, and senior centers. Our partners have adapted and reimagined services to provide support through Older Americans Act programs and keep older adults safe and healthy.”
– Excerpted from the CT State Plan on Aging, 2021-2023
Join the Movement to Reframe Aging
The National Center to Reframe Aging is developing tools to help states across the country develop plans that communicate how aging policies impact people at all ages and stages of life — and build momentum towards sustainable solutions for healthy aging.
- Is your state part of the movement to Reframe Aging?
- Who in your community can you influence to increase the use of well-framed messages about aging?
- What tools and tips from the National Center to Reframe Aging can help you change the conversation about aging?
Reach out to the National Center team to learn how you can inspire change within your state!