Age Strong Campaign
On September 24, 2019, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Boston’s “Age Strong Campaign,” the first public ad campaign of the Age Strong Commission (formerly known as the Commission on Affairs of the Elderly), aiming to make Boston an inclusive, accessible city for people as they age. The Commission’s mission is to enhance the lives of Boston’s elderly with programs, resources, and connections to that they can “age strong” in the city.
The Age Strong Campaign features eight Bostonians, ranging in age from 59 to 103, aimed at revealing biases around aging and dispelling stereotypes about older adults to promote more positive messaging around aging. Those eight dispel negative notions about aging just by being themselves, as they proudly embrace their aging with pride and a sense of owning their age and life experiences. The campaign includes a short video running on local access television stations, as well as digital banners, posters, and billboards that will be displayed at City Hall and neighborhood libraries, city bus stops, and Logan International Airport, and on MBTA subway and trolley cars.
One of the eight Bostonians in the ad campaign is LGBTQ and HIV activist Rob Quinn [A&U, May 2017]. “I am honored to be one of eight Bostonians…featured in the campaign,” Rob said in an email. “Positive attitudes towards aging result in healthier outcomes.” On Rob’s billboard/poster, he is quoted: “I am an LGBT advocate and recovery activist. I lead a peer support group, keep fit by riding my bike in the city. I am a lot of things, and helpless isn’t one of them.”
Already the Commission has successfully launched Boston’s first pilot Senior Civic Academy; an interactive public restrooms map; age- and dementia-friendly business designations; an Employment Guide for people over 50; and city staff training to educate employees on the needs of older people in Boston.
For more information about the Age Strong Commission, log on to https://www.boston.gov/departments/age-strong-commission; you can also follow the Commission on Twitter @AgeStrongBos and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/agestrongbos/.
—Reporting by Hank Trout
Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.