As early as her teenage years, Dr. Gendron knew she wanted to work with the aging population and tailored her education to prepare for a career working in the gerontological field. She received an undergraduate certificate in gerontology, a Masters of Science in gerontology, a Master’s of Science in psychology, and finally a Ph.D in Developmental Psychology. However, about fifteen years into her career she had a realization.
“I noticed that every time I was talking about working with the aging population, what I actually meant was – working with older adults. I thought to myself – why is it that I use the term ‘aging’ to refer to people in the later stages of life? When I look around me, no matter where I am, I don’t see anyone that isn’t aging. Yet even as a trained gerontologist, I was speaking as if aging was something that had already happened to other people. Those people. Old people. I began to see with great clarity that ageism was all around me and shockingly also inside of me.” This revelation sparked a passion and a drive to understand, raise awareness and disrupt the deeply embedded, normalized and invisible ageism that is within us all. Disrupting ageism involves shining a light on age inequity and discrimination by recognizing and understanding how our unexamined views impact our behaviors, thoughts, and actions. It is the beginning of changing our mindset. The next step is to learn about aging as a time of growth, development, and evolution – to promote elderhood as a way to value all ages and all stages. Disrupting ageism and promoting elderhood are now the foundation of my research, teaching and speaking.
Keynotes and Workshops: AgingIntoElderhood.com
- Recognizing, Understanding and Disrupting Ageism
- Aging into Elderhood
- Ageism is Bad for Business
- Elderhood as a Tool for Organizational Growth
Dr. Gendron welcomes an audience of any size for presentations, half day or full day interactive training sessions that immerse participants in thought-provoking and transformative learning.