Sep 13, 2019
Disrupting the Status Quo of Senior Living: A Mindshift
New Book Challenges Outdated Notions of Aging and Senior Living

Baltimore—As the U.S. experiences unprecedented growth in its aging population, a new book, Disrupting the Status Quo of Senior Living: A Mindshift (Health Professions Press/AARP), makes the case for a radical shift in thinking around senior living communities. Written by Jill Vitale-Aussem, president and CEO of The Eden Alternative, and co-published with AARP, Mindshift is a mandate to create vibrant cultures of purpose, community, and growth for older adults.

“We focus much of our efforts on telling people what they will receive if they move to our community,” said Vitale-Aussem. “But rarely do we ask the questions: What will the older adult bring to this community? How will they make it a better place? Without creating opportunities for residents to make meaningful contributions or connections, we can actually undermine feelings of purpose and independence.”

Mindshift begins by examining how ageism unconsciously impacts even the most well-meaning policies, practices, and organizations serving older adults. Throughout the book, the author confronts the institutional and hospitality models of senior living and proposes adaptive solutions that empower residents to be engaged in decision-making. Vitale-Aussem’s candor, sharing both successes and failures during her two decades of leading senior living communities, encourages readers to make the shift that will lead to more supportive, healthier and happier communities for older adults.  

“Vitale-Aussem’s book can transform the way senior housing staff—from aides to leadership—as well as families think about senior living residents,” said Jodi Lipson, director of AARP’s Book Division. “Mindshift changed my thinking around my own mother’s care, and I believe others will find ways to create living environments where relationships are at the center and senior living residents will feel a greater sense of belonging and purpose.”

Filled with stories of residents who find purpose and belonging in assisted living and nursing homes, Mindshift builds on AARP’s disrupt aging work, challenging outdated beliefs and stereotypes on aging. Vitale-Aussem provides guidance to both her colleagues and all of us on our aging journey—for a new path forward.

Disrupting the Status Quo of Senior Living: A Mindshift ($31.99, Health Professions Press and AARP) is available through www.healthpropress.com/mindshift, online booksellers, and other retail outlets.

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About Health Professions Press
Health Professions Press, Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland) is a publisher of high-quality educational resources for professionals interested in wellness and aging, long-term care, elder care, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and healthcare management. Visit www.healthpropress.com or follow @healthpropress on social media to learn more.

About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters to most families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

Media Contact: Jessica Winn, jwinn@aarp.org, 202-434-2560, @AARPMedia