By Steve Moran
I came across this article on CNN, “From Trayvon Martin to Ahmaud Arbery: How Images Have Changed a Movement.” It was powerful in so many ways.
Clearly, senior living and Black Lives Matter are very different causes but maybe not so different as we might think.
- How many older people are living in circumstances that are terrible when they could be living in senior living?
- How many older people are being sexually and physically abused each day who could be protected in senior living?
- How many older people are being taken advantage of financially who could be protected in senior living?
- How many older people are dying at home alone when they could die with their hand being held by people who love them, who have great affection for them, in senior living?
It Is Not Just the Visuals
The Black Lives Matter visuals (videos and photos) work because there is a story behind them. Stories of lives cut short, lives hurt. But is that not the case for so many older people in North America and around the world.
There are two kinds of visuals/stories we could and should be focusing on. The first is those older people who are in terrible circumstances outside senior living, and perhaps even those who are in terrible, terrible senior living communities.
The second is those residents who are having life-changing, powerful last-chapter experiences in our senior communities. These are residents who are dying surrounded by those who love them; residents who have found love in senior living. Residents who have healed and found peace with old family resentments and pain.
I am drawn to the work of Tom Sanders and Heidi Wagner and wonder how we could better use their craft to advance the noble work of senior living.
What stories do you have that need telling?