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Let’s Talk About Aging

April 27, 2018

The RoseMary B. Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies at Lasell College will host the Massachusetts Gerontology Association (MGA) annual conference, "Reframing Aging: Applying Communications Research to Advocacy Challenges," on May 4.

Keynote speaker Mackenzie Price, Ph.D., will discuss findings from the FrameWorks Institute's Reframing Aging Project, including how a strategic approach can be used to change the public conversation about aging issues. Participants will learn how to become advocates for re-educating the public, and will take away strategies for applying FrameWorks' recommendations to their own communications practices.   

"Although professionals in this field all fully understand the implications of our aging populations, they aren't always able to talk about them to the public in a way that offsets negative reactions," said Joann Montepare, director of the Fuss Center. "If we can't communicate effectively about the issues, we can't advocate effectively for support in our communities."  

In January, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker made Massachusetts the second in the United States to join the AARP network of Age-Friendly States and the World Health Organization's Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities. As an Age-Friendly University (AFU), Montepare said Lasell was a natural fit to host the upcoming conference.  

"In light of the welcomed attention that the Commonwealth has given to age-friendly efforts, MGA wanted to provide an opportunity for professionals and their organizations to improve their messages about aging," said Montepare. "As part of an AFU campus, the Fuss Center was delighted to have such a program held at Lasell College."  

In addition to the keynote address, the conference will include a town hall meeting, luncheon, and awards ceremony. Sponsors in addition to the Fuss Center include the AARP, Tufts Health Plan Foundation, University of Massachusetts Boston Gerontology Institute, Boston Senior Home Care, Encore Boston Network, and Jewish Family & Children's Service.  

According to Montepare, the Reframing Aging Project was launched by a national collaboration of leaders of aging organizations to address the pitfalls of current messaging approaches and promote more effective communication about aging.  

In June, the Fuss Center and Lasell Village will host a day-long workshop led by Teepa Snow and sponsored by the Dementia Action Alliance, "Reframing Dementia: Inclusive Communities," at which participants can build their skills and knowledge on supporting individuals living with dementia.  

For more information on the MGA annual conference, contact Joann Montepare at or register here