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By Helen Hirsh Spence

Perhaps you have also noticed the flood of attention that is being given to the phrase “OK Boomer”? To me, it highlights the need for improved communication between and among generations. Instead of interpreting this as a slur, I believe it presents a unique opportunity for all generations to assess and improve upon their styles of communication. This also happens to be the focus of December's newsletter.

Without going into a lengthy dissertation on how complicated communication can be, the “OK boomer” sentiment illustrates well how misunderstandings and unintended negative consequences can be propelled and propagated by social media. The opposite is also true but social media tends to polarize perspectives. It divides people into camps of believers and non-believers.  Look at politics today, especially south of the border (although we are no angels either).

I choose to take the expression, "OK boomer", to mean that there is a general malaise among younger people who feel disrespected by older generations. It necessitates, at the very least, a serious conversation  to untangle the bias, ignorance and myth that is the underpinning of the remark. Instead of causing greater misunderstanding, it can serve as a unifying force to show that boomers actually have more in common with younger generations than differences. When you take a look below, you’ll find some tools and resources that we’ve gathered to help you with your conversations.

We’re also very pleased to announce that we are launching a promotional campaign and contest for T60. The campaign's focus is on the brilliance of older workers. We would love you to share our posts on social media AND we’d also ask you to consider entering the Work and Age Well contest starting in January. Details can be found below. 

The first in a series of promotional pieces that promote the power of older adults and T60 services.
In the new year, T60 will be launching a small promotional campaign that highlights the benefits of an ageing workforce and contradicts some of the preconceived notions and myths about who is innovative, creative, productive, etc. The campaign is based on research findings.

 Along with the ads, we will also be running a contest.  We want to collect your stories (of those aged 50 and over) about how you have persevered to overcome the many ageism traps that later life holds.The stories don't need to be long or elaborate. We are looking for your best advice for working and ageing well. By the way, work does not have to mean "paid" employment.

Take the holidays to think about it and look for the contest details in our January newsletter.

For a sneak peek at the campaign ...


Reflections on the Old Elephant
Last week the Star published an article that I submitted, entitled “The (Old) Elephant in the Room”. For those of you who didn’t see it, you can find the link here or in the news section of our website. Needless to say, having an article published was personally very gratifying. What I hadn’t expected was the outpouring of personal anecdotes about ageism in the workplace that I got from some readers.


Everyone wants to look smart. Unfortunately, looking smart and being complicated can get confused. This can lead to brochures or websites that use obscure words or complex sentences. That kind of content takes time and thought to read. No matter how smart the reader, when they want information on your product or service they do not want to dig through layers of unnecessary wordiness. They’re busy people and busy people, no matter how smart, prefer plain language. When you’re in a rush, plain language is easier to follow, understand and recall. When you write copy, choose plain-language if you actually want people to read your message.
Many messages are written at a grade 16 reading level while most people read at a Grade 8 level or lower. This means that many business messages get missed, ignored or misunderstood. Did you know that 42% of Canadian adults between the ages of 16 and 65 have low literacy skills? In fact, 55% of working-age adults in Canada are estimated to have less than adequate literacy skills. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that 50% of U.S. adults can't read a book written at an eighth-grade level. 


Below we have shared some resources, articles and tools related to ageing well that we think you might find of interest.

Tackling Ageism Through Consciousness-raising
A guide for older people interested in starting a consciousness-raising group to share their experiences of ageism and how they might take action to improve the situation. 


A Guide To Teaching Children About Ageing
A short guide that explains how and why children need to learn about ageing.


25 Ways To Stop Tokenizing Youth
Do's and don'ts of effectively engaging youth.


How these employers are adapting to the needs of an ageing workforce
PBS News Hour explores how employers are seeing the benefits of older employees and creating options to accommodate them.

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