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Looking Back: A Year of Achievements for the Reframing Aging Initiative

In what has been an extraordinarily challenging year, the Reframing Aging Initiative (RAI) has made exciting progress from the local to the national level.

Our network of trained facilitators, equipped with powerful tools and knowledge that have been proven to shift ageist thinking, attitudes, and behaviors, continues to grow. In 2020, a total of 84 new facilitators received training on the research and fundamentals of reframing aging so they can play a key role in teaching others and changing the narrative around aging.

In communities across the country, we partnered with local and regional organizations to train 72 new Reframing Aging facilitators. We also trained 12 national facilitators in key positions within organizations to influence communication strategies and lead efforts to increase understanding of reframing principles.

As so much of the world went virtual in face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, RAI transformed the new facilitator training program to an online curriculum. Facilitators also received specialized training for issues related to COVID-19.

Through it all, our dedicated network of facilitators persevered and provided more than 80 workshops, presentations, and meetings with audiences that included the Maine Legislative Caucus on Aging; Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) leaders; FEMA; International Federation on Ageing; and the National Center on Elder Abuse.

Other Reframing Aging highlights for the year included:

  • We were very pleased to welcome the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) and LeadingAge as the newest members of the Leaders of Aging Organizations (LAO), the multi-organization collaborative responsible for initiating and implementing the Reframing Aging Initiative.
  • In addition to the specialized facilitator training, RAI responded to COVID-19 ageism issues with two webinars, a fact sheet on ageism and covid-19, and frame checks, where reframing experts review communication materials and suggest ways for improving messages with reframed language and evidence-informed narratives.
  • Three of the leading style guides used by thousands of scholars, researchers, communications professionals, journalists, students, and others have been updated to incorporate the principles of reframing aging: The American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style, Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, and Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • If you’re reading this article, chances are you came here from Caravan, the bi-monthly newsletter RAI launched in July that shares information, ideas, and inspiration to help our fellow travelers on our journey to improve the public's understanding of what aging means and the contributions older people bring to society.
  • During one of the most contentious election years in history, RAI published an issue of Public Policy & Aging Report devoted to "Building Momentum for a New Future in Politics and Aging," featuring articles on reframing aging and ageism.

We know, however, that there is still much work to do. Our deepest thanks to all who supported the Reframing Aging Initiative’s efforts in 2020. Together, step by step, we look forward to moving ever closer in 2021 to ending ageism.

About Us

The Reframing Aging Initiative is a long-term social change endeavor designed to improve the public’s understanding of what aging means and the many ways that older people contribute to our society. This greater understanding will counter ageism and guide our nation’s approach to ensuring supportive policies and programs for us all as we move through the life course.

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