It’s obvious we have media problem in our aging services industry with headlines like these!

By Jacquelyn Kung

How did we so quickly go from the “Glamorous Grandmas of Instagram” to “Like a Ghost Town”?

I kid you not. Within ten days, one of the top New York Times most emailed articles went from the “Glamorous Grandmas of Instagram” too “It’s Almost Like a Ghost Town Here,” an article that butchered nursing homes around the U.S.

A Huge Media Problem

There is nothing like these headlines that say we have a media problem in our aging services industry.

First, cute as the title is, the “Glamorous Grandmas of Instagram” is a bit demeaning, don’t you think? Some of them are GREAT Grandmas. Just kidding. But really: couldn’t the New York Times think of a name that played less on stereotypes of old stodgy grandparents?

Second, the story of nursing homes cooking their staffing books went viral and exploded like July 4th firecrackers in the face of nursing homes. And really? This is a sector that has just seen straight declines in census quarter after quarter. It’s just bad news piled thick on bad news.

We need to be paying attention to this bad news . . . why is it happening? Is it a fair representation of who we are and what we do? What are the lessons we need to learn here?

Third, can we not find stories worthy of positive press attention? Maybe I’m living in the 1970s. Let’s find some great things to write about — and get national attention for them.

Fortune Best Workplaces List

As an aside, I’m jazzed about the new FORTUNE Best Workplaces in Aging Services list coming out in late September. It’s still in the works, but providers from some of the biggest and smallest states in our country will be recognized — many of whom are doing amazing work without any recognition. It’s high time we got them some champagne and flutes.

What else can we toast and celebrate with spunk in our industry? Let’s get aging some positive media attention. What do you think?