Reframing Aging Initiative

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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



Related Content


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.

Quick Start Guide: This handy tip sheet reflects the major themes of the Reframing Aging Initiative narratives.

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

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