What’s the Big Deal about Ageism?

As Seniors Month comes to a close, CABHI’s work to realize its vision of a world where every older person lives a life with purpose, fulfillment, and dignity continues. Ageism – stereotypes and biases based on age – is a major obstacle many older persons face, hindering them from living their fullest lives.

During CABHI’s 2024 Summit: Defy Dementia, Bianca Stern, Executive Director of Health Innovation, moderated an eye-opening panel discussion about ageism with two age-positive women: Helen Hirsh Spence and Adele Ostfield. To wrap up Seniors Month, the Community of Innovation podcast co-hosts, Dr. Allison Sekuler and Dr. Rosanne Aleong, are revisiting this summit session and exploring the topic of ageism.

Adele and Helen offer insights, personal experiences, and research studies to help audience members grasp the concept of ageism, from defining ageism, to explaining its many forms, the associated dangers, and how we can overcome it.

One key stand-out for our podcast hosts was the health impact associated with ageism. During the panel discussion, Helen cited a recent publication from Dr. Becca Levy, a Yale Professor of Public Health and Psychology, that highlights the potential benefits of positive age beliefs on one’s life. Ageism, which Adele and Helen explain is often “baked-in” to our consciousness from a very young age, can make embodying a positive aging lifestyle more difficult.

Tune into the full episode to learn more about ageism and what we can all do to combat it.


Learn more about our guests

Helen Hirsh Spence has spent her career as an educator and, in more recent years, as an independent consultant, adviser, and entrepreneur. She has a proven record in designing state-of-the-art, original programming for varied audiences, which has contributed to her success as an advisor and consultant since 2007. As a respected facilitator and motivational speaker, Helen is a strong performer in multicultural environments with the ability to gain trust and build rapport quickly among those with diverse backgrounds, interests, and life circumstances. Helen is committed to building a strong community and is active in several local organizations and boards. She also serves as a mentor and life coach to youth and new immigrants.

To learn more about Helen’s work with Top Sixty Over Sixty, visit: www.topsixtyoversixty.com.

Adele Ostfield is a member of our Seniors Advisory Panel at CABHI and active Leap community member. Prior to joining the CABHI community, she was Vice President of Human Resources for an international pet food and supplies distributor. Upon retiring from that position in 1999, she resumed a prior career as a Human Resources and General Business Consultant working with a variety of companies and industries. Since fully retiring at the end of 2019, she has been able to indulge her passion for technology becoming a very active volunteer assisting older adults and those living with mild cognitive impairment to use technology to enhance their lives. She is committed to exploring innovative ideas and solutions that enable all people to age in place and live a full and meaningful life. Adele has an HBA from the Ivey School of Business and an MBA from York University.

To get involved in Leap, email info@leap-community.com.


About the Podcast

CABHI’s Community of Innovation podcast is where topics on ingenuity, aging, and brain health collide. Join us as we talk to experts in healthcare, research, technology, and business, as well as older adults and their caregivers, about the innovative practices and healthtech solutions helping us all lead longer, healthier lives.

Hosted by Dr. Allison Sekuler (President and Chief Scientist at CABHI) and Dr. Rosanne Aleong (Director of Research, Innovation, and Translation at CABHI).


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