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Suggested Citation:"7 Closing Remarks." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Aging and Disability: Beyond Stereotypes to Inclusion: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25029.
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7

Closing Remarks

At the workshop’s end, Nancy Lundebjerg, chief executive officer of the American Geriatrics Society and the chair of the planning committee for the workshop, reflected on the day’s discussions. Overall, she said, the nature of the day’s conversations had shown that everyone is interested in helping people realize their dreams. The first key takeaway she identified was from a presentation by Patricia Devine (see Chapter 4): we can learn to tune into our own biases and become agents of change. “What a powerful statement that is,” Lundebjerg said. “If we can actually listen to our inner voice and use the tools that she [Devine] has created to help us to do that, we can actually change the world.”

Lundebjerg continued by commenting that the mission of the forum itself was reflected in the presentation by the keynote speaker Liz Jackson (see Chapter 2), who said that she is searching for beauty in the face of stigma. Lundebjerg said that she would add that the aging and disability communities are also searching for meaning and relevance.

Suggested Citation:"7 Closing Remarks." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Aging and Disability: Beyond Stereotypes to Inclusion: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25029.
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Suggested Citation:"7 Closing Remarks." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Aging and Disability: Beyond Stereotypes to Inclusion: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25029.
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Page 67
Suggested Citation:"7 Closing Remarks." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Aging and Disability: Beyond Stereotypes to Inclusion: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25029.
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Page 68
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Many different groups of people are subject to stereotypes. Positive stereotypes (e.g., “older and wiser”) may provide a benefit to the relevant groups. However, negative stereotypes of aging and of disability continue to persist and, in some cases, remain socially acceptable. Research has shown that when exposed to negative images of aging, older persons demonstrate poor physical and cognitive performance and function, while those who are exposed to positive images of aging (or who have positive self-perceptions of aging) demonstrate better performance and function. Furthermore, an individual’s expectations about and perceptions of aging can predict future health outcomes. To better understand how stereotypes affect older adults and individuals with disabilities, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, with support from AARP, convened a public workshop on October 10, 2017. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

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