Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Reframing Aging

December 2019

Reframing Aging, Older ≠ Lesser

You may have seen those banners on city light poles, transit shelters and other locations around the City and wondered what they’re all about. Large photos of seniors reminding us that the qualities that make us human – passion, leadership, creativity, courage, intelligence, generosity – never get old. Older is not lesser. It’s all part of a year-long movement to reframe aging by dispelling the destructive myths of aging and highlighting the services that are available to support wellbeing in later life.

Older people are the fastest growing age group in San Francisco. By 2030, nearly 30 percent of all San Franciscans will be 60 years of age or older. Many have likened it to a silver tsunami, and, like all tsunamis, something to be feared.

Ageism, for that’s what this stereotype against older people is, has a price. When we rely on negative stereotypes about older people, we miss out on the positive qualities and strengths older people contribute to their families, workplaces and the community. Perhaps most destructive is the tendency of many older adults to internalize this prejudice. Thinking negatively about aging has been found to decrease an older person’s lifespan by 7.5 years.

Reframing aging does not claim that older people don’t have real problems. San Francisco is a ridiculously expensive city; health, mobility issues and loneliness are issues all seniors face. But that is not the whole story about aging.

The five seniors on these posters, like so many older San Franciscans, exemplify a new generation of older adults who accept the inevitable aging process but have made a conscious decision to continue to live full lives, not to quietly wither away.

Because ageism is so destructive and so pervasive, a coalition of city agencies and non-governmental organizations launched “Reframing Aging,” a yearlong campaign to dispel the destructive myths of aging and highlight the services that are available to support wellbeing in later life.

Reframing aging aims to raise awareness of ageism, dispel negative stereotypes of older adults, and connect residents with support services that alleviate the burdens of aging. The long-term goal, of course, is to improve the public’s understanding of what aging means and the many ways that older people contribute to our society.

For more information visit, the campaign’s Facebook, Instagramand LinkedInpages.

Free City College Classes in the Sunset


Alan Wong, legislative aide to Supervisor Gordon Mar. Courtesy photo.

Thanks to funding from District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar, Sunset residents can take City College classes in our own neighborhood. Starting Jan. 13, four City College classes will be available at Wah Mei School, 1400 Judah St., on the corner of 19thAvenue. The four classes include two credit courses on child development, plus two noncredit classes: Mind-Body Health and English as a Second Language. With the exception of the Mind-Body Health class, classes will be offered nights from 6:10 – 8:25 p.m. The Mind-Body class – a blend of Tai Chi Chih, voice and breath, accessible yoga, and balance and alignment – will be offered Thursday afternoons from 12:10-2 p.m.

City College will also offer two classes for high school students at Abraham Lincoln High School.

While in-person registration has ended, you can register online at through Jan. 11, 2020.

For more information and to enroll, contact Supervisor Mar’s legislative aide Alan Wong at (415) 554-7481 or

Louise Aronson at the Downtown Public Library

Louise Aronson, MD, will present a free talk on her wildly popular book Elderhood in the Koret Auditorium of the main library, 100 Larkin St., on Wednesday, Jan. 22. The talk begins at 6 p.m.

Aronson uses stories her patients shared with her and her own experience caring for older people to “weave a vision of old age that’s neither nightmare nor utopian fantasy.” Elderhoodtraces the surprisingly brief history of gerontology.

Since the publication of “Elderhood” six months ago, crowds of seniors – and some not so senior – have flocked to Aronson’s presentations to hear her stories, share theirs and ask questions. If you haven’t heard Aronson yet, make it a point to attend this free presentation.

Senior Power

 Senior Power will hold its next meeting on Jan. 9, 2020 at 10a.m. at Taraval Police Station (2345  24th Ave).Three guest speakers – Carol Koffel, Vision of Home SF (downsizing & leveraging real estate); Eugene Lew, Architect (Dom-I-City aging in place plan); and Karen Coppock, Home Match (connecting homeowners w/extra rooms & home seekers) – have been invited to address the theme “Housing Alternatives.” Their presentation will be followed by Qigong exercises, neighborhood announcements and light refreshments.Translation services (English-Cantonese) will be provided. The program is free. For infomation contact M. Graf, or (415) 652 4751; www.

The Inner Sunset Senior Program

The Inner Sunset program meets Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30-2:30 p.m. for exercise; 2:30-3:30 p.m. for tea, snacks, and classes: injury prevention Jan. 13, wreath making Jan. 16, your Medicare Rights Jan. 23, and Chinese New Year celebration Jan. 30. Class will not be held on MLK Day Jan. 20.

This program is free and meets in the community hall of St. Anne of the Sunset, entrance on Funston between Funston and 14th Avenue. For information, contact Marina Lazzara, or (415) 524-3922;

Judy Goddess is a reporter with SF Senior Beat. For more information, please visit or contact Judy at (415) 759-1994 or by email at









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