Sharing a Small Perspective to Make a Big Change

By Roberto Muñiz

What moral role do we have in making right the injustices we see in the world?
Recently, Marcy Salzberg, Director of Social Work at Parker, had an opportunity to speak up when parents of her son's class were asked to dress their children as 100-year-olds.
Marcy realized that she had an opportunity--an obligation--to help change the perception many people and children have of what older people should look like. So what exactly does a 100-year-old look like? Or what is the misconception of how they should look? Marcy was determined and tenacious in fixing this wrong. Read about her experience here.
Through our #WithIt campaign, we've celebrated the looks and personalities--the individuality and youthful mentality--of the elders who reside at Parker and those from the local community who participate in our programs. They certainly all "look" different! Marcy even joked that she noticed one Parker resident who wears Adidas sneakers just like her 10-year-old son.
This is one example that we all can make a difference where we live or work. Are there other ways to create a paradigm shift in society's views on aging and impact our world? The Milken Institute, a non-profit organization, identifies opportunities, strategies, policies and practices to help businesses address ageism in its "Turning Silver into Gold: The Business of Aging" report. It's examples like these that will propel the conversation forward.
At Parker, we love to share stories about people who are #WithIt at any age. People are defying stereotypes and misconceptions about aging simply by being themselves--from our aging adults who love their Adidas sneakers as much as teenagers do, to those taking yoga in our health & wellness center, to others who are using Amazon's Alexa for music, news, menus and more.

I've spoken about ageism before and will continue to do so--it is my personal call to action. What other forms of ageism do you see that mask themselves as social norms, and how will you be an agent of change?

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