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Taking Reframing Aging on the Road

From Washington, DC, to Denver to Boston to Concord, NH, Reframing Aging Initiative staff hit the road over the winter to train a total of 72 new facilitators. The training team was composed of initiative Project Director Trish D’Antonio and Project Manager Laurie G. Lindberg and Moira O’Neil of the FrameWorks Institute. Facilitators receive 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.

The hosts for the trainings were: Changing the Narrative in Denver (21 new facilitators); national Reframing Aging Initiative at the GSA office in Washington, DC (12 new facilitators); Tufts Health Plan Foundation in Boston, MA (21 new facilitators); and New Hampshire Alliance for Healthy Aging in Concord, NH (18 new facilitators).

Each training spanned two days and included a take-home assignment to craft a 15-minute presentation on one of the reframing concepts: the Swamp of Public Understanding; the Embracing the Dynamic narrative; or the Confronting Injustice narrative. The first day focused on reviewing the reframing aging research and instruction on how to teach the framing fundamentals.

On the second day, each facilitator practiced presenting to a chosen “audience.” One of the key points is that knowing one’s audience is a critical aspect of choosing which narrative to use. For example, for an audience of communicators who often resort to the “super senior” story, using the Embracing the Dynamic narrative steers people away from individualism, explains “what surrounds us, shapes us,” and triggers collective responsibility. Trainees learn how to adapt the reframing aging language as well. For example, when discussing the values of ingenuity and justice, facilitators learn that it’s not only OK, it’s actually preferable to use synonyms so that presentations are responsive to the presenter’s comfort level and the audience’s needs.

For more information, read GSA CEO James Appleby’s blog post: Equipping the 'Reframing Travelers'

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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