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Ageism First Aid is an online multi-module course designed to help change the common negative misconceptions and myths about aging by replacing them with facts that should be common knowledge. The course will support factual conversations about aging and spark widespread use of positive aging-related language among people in the health and helping professions.

What You Will Learn

As a person already working in the field of aging, the information that you learn will help to unify your affirmative approach to talking about aging, advance your efforts to combat ageism, and—over time—have a positive effect on older adults.

By taking this course, you will:

  • Understand what ageism is, how it develops during childhood and throughout adulthood, how ageism affects people of all ages, and how to avoid participating in ageism.
  • Provide you knowledge to interact more skillfully and effectively with older adults and it will help protect you against the negative influence of ageism.
  • Communicate more effectively with people of all ages and diverse backgrounds.
  • Help you become a more skilled and successful communicator in your professional and personal life and will enhance your professional credentials.

Ageism First Aid contains three modules:

Register Now! Module One is Foundation Knowledge. The first step in Ageism First Aid is to provide you with facts about older adults and the aging process. These facts will help replace ideas you may have about older adults that are based on misinformation about aging.

Coming soon! Module Two is Ageism Explained. The second step in Ageism First Aid is to help you understand how we learn and develop ageism from early childhood through adulthood and to introduce you to the concept of ageism awareness. Ageism awareness will help you avoid ageism and protect you against the effects of ageism as you grow older.

Coming soon! Module Three is Respectful, Effective, and Appropriate Communication Training. The third step in Ageism First Aid is to provide you with basic communication training as well as some specialized training for how to interact with older adults. The training will help you become a more effective communicator with your family, in your community, and at work.

Cost

Members:                   $20 

Non-Members:           $30 

 

Register Now!

 

Members will need their GSA Member Number to register. Here is how to access your member number:

  • Click the white “Login” button on the top right corner of the home page
  • Enter your GSA username and password
  • If you have forgotten your password, select “Forgot your password”
  • Once logged in, click the white “My Account” button on the top right corner of the home page
  • Click “Member Services” from the black pop-up box
  • Under “My Account” select “Print Membership Card”
  • A new window will appear containing your card with member number

To Access Ageism First Aid Module:

  • Enter your member number as User Name
  • Select "Forgot Password"
  • You will receive an email that will direct you to reset your password and access the module. 

AFA Acknowledgment Statement

The Ageism First Aid (AFA) project was initially funded by a grant from the Retirement Research Foundation through the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Founders Innovation Fund and the AGHE Founders 3.0: Special Projects Initiative. AGHE is the Gerontological Society of America’s (GSA) educational branch. All three organizations are dedicated reducing ageism and aging stigma and improving the quality of life and overall well-being of older Americans.

The AFA course copyright is held by The Gerontological Society of America.

The AFA project was sponsored by the AGHE Academic Program Development Committee and is a product of collaboration among AGHE member faculty. Special thanks go out to all the contributors, including Laurinda Reynolds, Tina Kruger Newsham, Joann Montepare, and Becky Knight, and the reviewers Janet Frank, Marilyn Gugliucci, and Carrie Andreoletti.

afa

 

Ageism First Aid is an online multi-module course designed to help change the common negative misconceptions and myths about aging by replacing them with facts that should be common knowledge. The course will support factual conversations about aging and spark widespread use of positive aging-related language among people in the health and helping professions.

As faculty using Ageism First Aid (AFA) as an instructional component in your courses or program, requiring students to complete AFA at the beginning of introductory courses will help ensure all your students are prepared for interactions with older adults that may be required by your course assignments, service learning requirements, work experience, and/or research. The AFA course will help reduce ageism in early writing assignments and discussions, serve as a leveler in courses with students from a variety of disciplines, and provide scaffolding and foreshadowing throughout the course.

The course is written for a broad audience, ranging from high school students to professionals holding graduate degrees and doctorates.

Ageism First Aid contains three modules:

Register Now! Module One is Foundation Knowledge. The first step in Ageism First Aid is to provide you with facts about older adults and the aging process. These facts will help replace ideas you may have about older adults that are based on misinformation about aging.

Coming soon! Module Two is Ageism Explained. The second step in Ageism First Aid is to help you understand how we learn and develop ageism from early childhood through adulthood and to introduce you to the concept of ageism awareness. Ageism awareness will help you avoid ageism and protect you against the effects of ageism as you grow older.

Coming soon! Module Three is Respectful, Effective, and Appropriate Communication Training. The third step in Ageism First Aid is to provide you with basic communication training as well as some specialized training for how to interact with older adults. The training will help you become a more effective communicator with your family, in your community, and at work.

Take Advantage of the AGHE Referral Royalty Program

Your institution can receive a portion of the learner fees when faculty at your institution use Ageism First Aid in their courses and promote its use in other programs at the institution and through their local Aging Network.

To find out more about how your institution can participate in the Referral Royalty Program, contact Judie Lieu at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cost

Students: $15

Non-Students $20

All users must create a new learner account and select their associated institution and whether or not they are a student.

AFA Acknowledgment Statement

The Ageism First Aid (AFA) project was initially funded by a grant from the Retirement Research Foundation through the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Founders Innovation Fund and the AGHE Founders 3.0: Special Projects Initiative. AGHE is the Gerontological Society of America’s (GSA) educational branch. All three organizations are dedicated reducing ageism and aging stigma and improving the quality of life and overall well-being of older Americans.

The AFA course copyright is held by The Gerontological Society of America.

The AFA project was sponsored by the AGHE Academic Program Development Committee and is a product of collaboration among AGHE member faculty. Special thanks go out to all the contributors, including Laurinda Reynolds, Tina Kruger Newsham, Joann Montepare, and Becky Knight, and the reviewers Janet Frank, Marilyn Gugliucci, and Carrie Andreoletti.

reframing 2019

Join us as we challenge the “conventional wisdom” on aging with the Reframing Aging Initiative — 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.

Ultimately, 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.

Read GSA's press release about the launch of the initiative and follow us on Twitter @ReframingAging.

Key Concepts: Why We Need This Work

While changing cultural perceptions is not easy, the alternative is to acquiesce to an unacceptable status quo that undermines our ability to build support for aging-friendly policies, necessary research investments, and the future of our every-generation-nation. Let’s change the 'conventional wisdom' on aging together.

—James C. Appleby, GSA CEO

Widespread misunderstanding about the aging process and lack of information about how older people contribute to society have led to pervasive ageism. Research by the FrameWorks Institute found that the public believes aging is synonymous with decline and dependency, and that the aging process is a battle to be fought.

Those of us in the field of aging know that “age is just a number” and that, with systems in place to support wellbeing in later life, our society can benefit from the longevity dividend offered by our aging population.

For a quick, two-minute overview of the key concepts behind the initiative, start with this interview of Julie Sweetland of FrameWorks Institute recorded at the IAGG World Congress hosted by GSA in 2017.

Read further to find out how you can change the conversation, be more persuasive, answer ageism, and influence public understanding to create a more just, inclusive, and age-friendly society.

Change the Conversation

 Reframing aging relies on tested strategies and evidence-informed tools that have been found to reduce implicit bias against older people.

  • Gaining Momentum:Learn how to reframe conversations about aging with this toolkit.

gainingmomentum web

Individuals: Learn more with the communications toolkit Gaining Momentum and the video series Reframing Aging and Ageism. Contact us with questions about resources, trainings, and technical assistance at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Aging Organizations: To learn about opportunities for workshops and presentations to your staff, board of directors, or conference attendees, please contact Project Manager Laurie G. Lindberg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Funders: If you are a funder of aging programs and would like to become involved in this ground-breaking initiative, please write to Project Director Trish D’Antonio at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There are opportunities for local, regional, and national activities and programs.


Who We Are

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) partnered with seven national aging organizations to form the Leaders of Aging Organizations (LAO) to address the entrenched ageism in American society. With support from nine funders, the LAO collaborated with the social science research firm FrameWorks Institute to examine exactly what the American public thinks of aging. Research found that the public’s perception of aging is decidedly negative and antithetical to how most older people feel and what experts in the field know to be true.

Now that the research has been conducted and the communication strategies, resources, and tools have been developed and tested, the next phase of the work is underway. With the generous support of four national funders, GSA, on behalf of the LAO, has launched the next phase of the Reframing Aging Initiative. The four aims of this phase of the project are:

  • Build an infrastructure to enable broad dissemination of the reframing aging concepts to the field of aging
  • Engage the aging research, education, and practice communities to learn about and start using the reframed communication strategies
  • Provide technical support for organizations who complete workshops and trainings
  • Support state and local efforts to reframe aging locally

What We Can Do for You

  • FrameChecks: reframing experts review your communication materials and suggest ways for improving your messages with reframed language and evidence-informed narratives.
  • Workshops and presentations: Master Trainers provide engaging and interactive sessions on the reframing aging concepts, narratives, and tools for your organizations and conferences.
  • Technical assistance:  trained reframers help you fine-tune your messages as a follow-up to workshops and presentations.

Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more.

Funders and Organizations

     hartford 2019
archstone 2019   rrf 2019   scan 2019

 


Research

Related Content

Resources

Toolkit: The Reframing Aging Initiative relies on tested strategies and evidence-informed tools that have been found to reduce implicit bias against older people. These resources are available in a toolkit called Gaining Momentum.

Video Series: aging fwa image largeFor a more in-depth examination of the research behind the Reframing Aging Initiative and a tutorial on how to use the tools, you may want to access the FrameWorks Academy video series on Reframing Aging and Ageism. This resource is free, but you must create an account and a login: Reframing Aging and Ageism


Advisory Board

James Appleby

The Gerontological Society of America


Cynthia Banks

American Society on Aging


Gary Epstein-Lubow

Hebrew SeniorLife


Nat Kendall-Taylor

FrameWorks Institute


Nancy E. Lundebjerg

American Geriatrics Society


Nancy Morrow-Howell

Washington University in St. Louis


Al Race

Center on the Developing Child


Linda Schotthoefer

United Way of Miami-Dade


Nora Super

Milken Institute


Project Staff

Trish D’Antonio

Project Director and Principal Investigator


Laurie G. Lindberg

Project Manager


reframing 2019

Publication Highlights Care Challenges of Dementia-Related Psychosis

It is estimated that over 2 million Americans with dementia experience delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear). This group of symptoms, known as dementia-related psychosis, may cause significant distress to individuals and their families. Although common, the condition frequently goes undetected in people who may be struggling with other complex behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.

A new publication from The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), “Dementia-Related Psychosis: Gaps and Opportunities for Improving Quality of Care,” brings attention to the need for greater awareness of this condition within the medical community and better support for those affected.

“This new resource provides an excellent overview of an underdiagnosed condition that’s not well understood,” said Banner Alzheimer’s Institute Director Pierre N. Tariot, MD, who contributed his expertise in geriatric psychiatry to the publication’s multidisciplinary review committee. “It will be a useful tool for the research and practice communities to help us build a roadmap for better diagnostic clarity and better patient outcomes.”

A neurologist, a geriatrician, and a long-term care geriatric psychiatrist — Gustavo Alva, MD, Joshua Chodosh, MD, and Gary Epstein-Lubow, MD, respectively — also served as reviewers, as individuals with dementia-related psychosis may require care across various clinical settings.

Currently, there is no consensus in the medical community on how to diagnose dementia-related psychosis, which is clinically distinct from psychosis in other disorders (e.g., schizophrenia). There are also no specific International Statistical Classification of Diseases–Tenth Revision (ICD-10) diagnostic codes that would allow providers to document the condition in medical records, making it difficult to identify, monitor and appropriately manage symptoms.

The GSA publication seeks to fill a gap in the available literature by summarizing best practices for treating dementia-related psychosis and proposing improvements to advance quality of care in this area, including: the development of new ICD-10 codes, more research on evidence-based strategies for treatment, and the need for comprehensive care planning.

“Dementia-Related Psychosis: Gaps and Opportunities for Improving Quality of Care” was developed by GSA through an unrestricted grant from ACADIA Pharmaceuticals.

Webinars

Visit GSA's webinar page to register or view archived recordings:

  • GSA/CDC Webinar part 1: "Health Literacy Considerations for Initiatives with Older Adults" (Friday, June 28, 2019)
  • GSA/CDC Webinar part 2: "Sun Protection and Sunburn Among Older U.S. Adults" (Friday, August 2)

GSA partnered with the Association of Community Cancer Centers and the International Society of Geriatric Oncology on a six-part webinar series on caring for older adults with cancer.

Annual Scientific Meeting Sessions

"Opportunities and Strategic Directions for Cancer Prevention During Older Adulthood"
Momentum Discussion at GSA’s 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting
Moderator: Mary C. White, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Panelists: Richard A. Goodman, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University; Dawn M. Holman, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This session builds on highlights from a CDC-funded supplemental issue of The Gerontologist on “Opportunities for Cancer Prevention During Older Adulthood.” The papers in the supplement address a wide range of innovative topics related to cancer risk among older adults, including health literacy and communication, age discrimination, financial hardship, the health effects of natural disasters, sun protection behaviors, and preventive health services, among others. Research suggests there may be more we could do lower exposures to known causes of cancer, promote social and physical environments that facilitate healthy behaviors and positive attitudes about aging and cancer prevention, expand appropriate use of preventive health services at older ages, and improve communication with older adults about cancer prevention efforts. Among the many potential imperatives are what society can do to reduce cancer risk and preserve health as adults enter their 60s, 70s, and beyond; what societal and environmental approaches might help to shift negative attitudes about aging and cancer prevention; and how best to engage older adults and their families, caregivers, and relevant community sectors in these efforts. Panelists will lead a discussion of these questions and provide insights into potentially promising new directions for research and practice to expand cancer prevention efforts for older adults.

"Older Adults and Cancer: Building the Research and Clinical Care Infrastructure for an Aging Population" 
Momentum Discussion at GSA's 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting
Moderator: Harvey Jay Cohen
Panelists: Harvey Jay Cohen, Elana Plotkin, Peggy Burhenn
As a result of improvements in treatment and supportive care, the number of older cancer survivors is increasing, including many with comorbid conditions that complicate treatment plans. Frequently, because of the lack of research into the care of older adults with cancer and comorbid conditions, clinicians find themselves unprepared to assess and manage these complex patients. Older adults are often underscreened for cancers, the conditions are understaged when they are found, and treatment is often less aggressive than in younger individuals or not provided at all. This session will examine the relationship between aging and cancer, as well as ways that cancer research, prevention, and care can be improved for older adults. 
Supported by Pfizer. 

Resources

Report

Pertinent Articles

Interest Group

Cancer and Aging: Advancing age increases risk of cancer. Simultaneously, age-related conditions may complicate cancer recovery and pose a lifelong challenge. The Cancer and Aging Interest Group brings together a multidisciplinary group, including clinicians, basic and social/behavioral scientists, public health practitioners, advocates and educators, to address cancer and aging across the cancer continuum. Together, we seek to identify challenges and opportunities at the intersection of cancer and aging and translate lessons from bedside to the community for older cancer survivors and their families.

 

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