Welcome to the 2023 CCCC Mission!
The Colorado Culture Change Coalition (CCCC) seeks to elevate elderhood while thriving in home and community.
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What is Elderhood and Does it Matter?
By Ruth Minnema and Kate Poppenhagen, CCCC Board Members
2023 CCCC Mission Statement:
To Elevate Elderhood While Thriving in Home and Community.
During my 30+ year career in Long Term Care, there were occasional conversations about what will happen when baby boomers retire, what happens to us later in adulthood? These were interesting conversations, quickly consumed by the busyness of adulthood and career. During my time spent in adulthood, there were three life stages:
1. Childhood 2. Adolescence 3. Adulthood
Recently, I listened to What the Hell Happened to Elderhood? a TEDx talk in which Margo Knox uses poetry to explore her own experience of the later stages of adulthood and elderhood. Central to Knox’s exploration of her own elderhood is a deep recognition and acceptance of her responsibility to future generations. She notes, “I have the view that those who take up the mental eldership responsibility will always infuse public life with higher values that stress understanding, social caring, and peace.”
“Elder” is a term of honor. It was and continues to be used in many cultures. In 1977, Barry Barkan and the Live Oak Regenerative Community defined it this way:
An Elder is a person who is still growing, still a learner, still with potential and whose life continues to have within it promise for, and connection to the future. An Elder is still in pursuit of happiness, joy, and pleasure, and her or his birthright to these remains intact. Moreover, an Elder is a person who deserves respect and honor and whose work is to synthesize wisdom from long life experience and formulate this into a legacy for future generations.
Elders promote a culture that values understanding, social caring, wisdom and peace. It constitutes what we call “Elderhood”, a fourth stage of life.
1. Childhood 2. Adolescent 3. Adulthood 4. Elderhood
The Colorado Culture Change Coalition’s 2023 mission statement explores the effects of elevating elderhood. How do all life stages benefit when opportunities to come together are created? Historically, CCCC focused on culture change in long-term care communities, which will remain part of our mission. The Coalition is exploring a broader application of elderhood: If life continues, elderhood follows adulthood as we all become elders. We can elevate elderhood both within and outside the walls of long-term care. Join in as we bring people in all life stages together to learn from each other and have fun along the way.