Picture This. Stanford Social Innovation Review, in collaboration with FrameWorks Institute and The Communications Network, has launched a series that explains framing social issues and gives examples across issues including gun violence, sexual violence and, of course, aging. This initial article provides an overview of Framing for Social Change.

For a deeper dive in framing and reframing social issues, visit the Framing Files page on the FrameWorks Institute’s website.

And for those of you who are struggling with moving away from telling the “sympathetic senior” story, this blog by Susan Nall Bales will give  you compelling reasons to do so.


The Reframing Aging page on Frameworks Institute website provides an overview of the Reframing Aging initiative, and links to all the research studies and reports that have been developed over the course of the project so far. Especially helpful as you are changing the narrative is the GAINING MOMENTUM Communications Toolkit, which includes these FAQs.

Many of the leading aging organizations involved in Reframing Aging have developed resources and trainings as well. Here are links to some of their resources for changing the narrative:

  • Grantmakers in Aging. Is offering a free—yes, free!—video series on Reframing Aging and Ageism.
  • American Geriatrics Society. This editorial from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society on why it is changing its style guide and its language about how to refer to older adults is a great resource and example to share with those in your organization who might not be convinced that change is necessary.
  • American Society on Aging (ASA). ASA is hosting a four-part webinar series on topics related to reframing aging. Especially helpful is its special issue of Generations, focused on The Pernicious Problem of Ageism.
  • National Council on Aging (NCOA) and National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA). This blog shares the perspectives of reframing aging for Latino older adults. The NHCOA blog is a great resource as well on public policy issues from a Latino perspective.
  • AARP. AARP’s Disrupt Aging campaign has lots of resources, stories and video examples to use in advancing a new story of aging.


FrameWorks Institute has developed some framing recommendations for those who are describing their work with older people who are experiencing challenges in their lives. Here are three of their resources we recommend to help you address this issue:


Finding the Frame: An Empirical Approach to Reframing Aging and Ageism by FrameWorks Institute synthesizes the results of its multi-year research project on Reframing Aging, describes the communications traps to avoid, lays out the frames that work, and provides recommendations for moving forward.


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