Elder Potential

Elder Rights

Sage Community 

Sage Community Goals

Sageism vs. Ageism

Rethinking Elderhood




Southeast Advocacy Center for Elder Rights



Sage Community Goals

The key components in developing a 21st Century Sage Community include:

I. Challenging Ageism:  Promoting recognition and understanding of Ageism and its negative impact on the lives of elders and society as a whole.

A. Recognizing Ageism and it characteristics and the role it plays in limiting elder opportunities and negatively impacting elders' self-image.

B. Understanding the role Ageism plays in increasing the frailty, debility, and cost of care as elders believe its message.

C. Recognizing Ageism and the dangerous impact of Undue Influence on elder decision making.
D. Understanding the lost potential of culturally inspired disengagement of its elders.


II. Developing resources and support for recognizing, planning, and living out the Third Phase of Life as the natural and desirable strategy for elders.  This provides the model for continued elder growth, meaning, purpose, and contribution in life from the age of 65 to death.

A. Supporting the development of Wisdom in society. 

B. Facilitating individual potential for spiritual growth and self-actualization.

C. Recognizing the purpose of Sages in advancing the society.

D. Providing education, support, and coaching to help maximize the potential of The Third Phase of Life.

E. Elimination of the idea that elders have nothing of importance to contribute so should get out of the way.


III. Educating and developing elder health care and support services to eliminate the attitudes and practices of Ageism resulting in better outcomes for elders and dramatically reduced costs of care.

        A. Applying the principles of Gerontology: maintaining elder independence, control over their lives, and assuring opportunities for meaning, quality, and purpose for their lives to:

1.         Medical Office Care

2.         Acute Hospital Care

3.         Elder Support Services.

        B. Promote rehabilitation services resulting in a successful return to the community.

        C. Develop Elder Case Managers to assure care coordination resulting in independence, control, and quality of life.

        D. Identify the significant cost savings that occur as these principles are implemented in elder health care.


IV. Change the knowledge, skills, and services for evaluating, treating, and caring for cognitive disorders in elders.

A.     Develop awareness and recognition of the wide-spread misdiagnosis and labeling of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and the unnecessary and devastating life changes and increased cost of care that creates.

B.     Develop broad-based awareness of the numerous reversible problems and conditions that can create cognitive disabilities.

C.      Identify and promote the specific test battery needed to clarify elders' cognitive strengths and weaknesses as well as functional limitations they are experiencing.

D.     Develop and promote the availability of cognitive therapy to utilize strengths to compensate for problems and to improve areas of difficulty.

E.     Develop and promote living settings that provide ways to help those with cognitive problems maintain current functioning and improve in areas of difficulty, providing elders with the potential for greater independence, control, and the highest possible quality of life.


V. Promote changes in current models of long-term care, reducing the need for nursing home services, and making the care that is provided truly elder-focused instead of institutional.

A. Implement an active nursing-home prevention program to reduce the frailty and dependence levels of elders, preventing the need for 24 hour care.

B. Identify technologic support and its role in helping elders remain in their own homes.

C. Replace the current routine acute care discharges to nursing homes with more careful elder case management, putting together alternatives that enable the elder to have more independence, control, and a higher quality of life than institutional care typically provides.
D. Promote extensive development of Green Houses, the Household Models, or the Eden Alternative with existing long-term care settings.  


VI. Recognize the importance of being in a society that honors its elders for their contributions, protects their rights, and provides and encourages an environment where elders can achieve their potential for being in the Third Phase of Their Lives.  This enhances the development of the society and individual, and reduces the need to utilize expensive resources, not because they are being "rationed" but because they are not needed.