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Snapshot of learning: The Curse of Compassionate AGEISM

Summary of the action taken

Using LLARC's, contacts across Social Media and gerontological/ Care Networks to confront all ageist narratives and practices, but especially highlighting Compassionate Ageism, which underpins much of our responses to older adults.

Details of what happened

LLARC aims to promote positive views of age and ageing, working across a range of organisations, including age-inclusive radio stations, third-sector, public sector, academic researchers, etc. Formed in late 2019, we Promote anti-ageist views, Strengthen the visibility of audio content created by older adults, and attempt to engage older adults in radio and broadcasting. Being a Cooperative, it is important to us that our members OWN, CONTROL and BENEFIT, having an unfiltered voice and developing radio/broadcasting skills. We have a website, an audio platform [ mixcloud.com/LLARC], and a website [laterlifeaudioradio.org }. In addition, LLARC produces a regular newsletter, " Generations On Air." Compassionate Ageism is the othering of older adults in that we see services based mainly on dependency, deficit, and sickness, leading to patronising and paternalistic service responses. I have written, spoken, and broadcast about its impact and advocated for human rights and social justice.

Outcome and thoughts about why things turned out the way they did

LLARC has been recognised through an award and featured internationally by Co-operatives UK. Co-founder Dr Arlind Reuter has been profiled through her academic credentials within The British Society of Gerontology. Confronting overt and conscious ageism is a long journey, and getting civil and society to understand compassionate ageism is a longer one. The present outcomes might be seen as minor in the broad scheme of things, but we are resilient, committed and determined to use broadcast media and community radio

Things you would do differently or do again in similar circumstances

I am not sure we would have done anything different; LLARC's values and mission are immutable. Compassionate ageism's challenge is recognising that it has become institutionalised and normalised. When Older Adults cease perpetuating it, we hope to eliminate it fundamentally. As a small Cooperative and organisation, we must secure increased membership, capacity and reach. The involvement of community radio stations is critical, and hence our relationship with Newcastle Radio and Newcastle's Older Voices, Sonder Radio and learn the lessons.

Submitted by

Dr Mervyn Eastman

If you have any questions, you can contact the author on mervyn.changeagent@gmail.com

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