Reframing Aging Initiative Releases Guide to Advance Inclusive Language About Aging

Apr 6, 2022

The Reframing Aging Initiative (RAI), a long-term social change endeavor designed to improve the public’s understanding of aging and the ways that older people contribute to society, has released “Communication Best Practices: Reframing Aging Initiative Guide to Telling a More Complete Story of Aging.”

Drawing from RAI research on ways to increase the public’s understanding of aging, this new guide will influence nation-wide narratives about aging. Thanks to RAI advocacy, the American Psychological Association, the Associated Press, and the American Medical Association are already promoting similar guidance in their widely used publication style guides, used by journalists, communicators, and more than 1,000 scholarly journals in more than 100 academic disciplines.

“Communication Best Practices” will enable academics, aging services providers, researchers, leaders, and advocates to advance productive language and avoid communication traps. It provides research-based rationales for these communication best practices, suggesting terms to avoid and wording to advance.

This guide is one of several resources available online from RAI, including the overview brief The Story of Reframing Aging and a Quick Start Guide with tips on themes to avoid and alternatives to advance. A new video series shows how to use inclusive language to avoid “Us vs. Them” and other traps.

Support for the initiative comes from The John A. Hartford Foundation, Archstone Foundation, RRF Foundation for Aging, and The SCAN Foundation. Additional support is provided by E4 Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging at Rush University, Endowment for Health New Hampshire, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, NextFifty Initiative, Point32Health Foundation, and San Antonio Area Foundation.