Headline was opposite to content of aging article
Words do matter. In Larry Zielinski’s Viewpoints article on Dec. 10, advocating expanded supports for older adults, he appropriately laid out some options for more effective and respectful services and changes which will reduce the age bias prevalent in so many of our social policies. The article was hopeful in its content and direction and yet it was titled “The Silver Tsunami,” a term which implies the opposite of the article’s positive content. A tsunami is unpredictable and brings pain, death, destruction and suffering. That does not need to be our future. By using terms like tsunami we undercut our potential energy and reinforce messages that our demographic shift is to be feared and resisted.
We need not fear our changing demography. What we need is old-fashioned American ingenuity to create an even better, even older America. We have an unprecedented opportunity to think creatively about our collective future and how to deploy all the resources we have available – including older adults themselves.
Ann F. Monroe
Board Chair, Grantmakers in Aging