Skip To Main content Skip Global Navigation

New School of Thought for Elder Justice

By Alycia Cisneros, MSW 

September 12, 2022

When I think of the end of summer, I think of back-to-school advertisements that used to pull my stomach into knots as a kid. “Oh no, not another year of syllabi,” I would groan to myself. Now I feel a sense of relief that it is not me going back-to-school when I see billboards of kids with the coolest new backpack and matching stationery. In reality, I suppose school never really ended for us all as we age, it just looks different now. Everyday working in the field of elder justice has been a new learning experience. I have gotten to learn and work with the most incredible pioneers in this field.  

The question I ask myself now is, “is it a form of ageism to think back-to-school time is only for children instead of all of us as we age?” Ageism marketing tells us back-to-school is for children and young adults in college, when in fact there are folks of all ages in the class of 2023. What about people who have finished classroom learning, but are ready to learn to lead the field of elder justice? Perhaps instead of focusing on the marketing of back-to-school supplies, this time of year should remind us to reflect on the accomplishments of the last eight months and refresh for the fall. A time to think about what worked and what did not. Maybe finally get around to carving out a slot in our schedules to get updated on the newest research. Or take time to learn from our partners with differing perspectives and scopes of work. I particularly enjoy working with partners from different professional backgrounds and hearing their view of an issue based on their own expertise. The ideas of my colleagues are something I often would have never thought of and a learning experience that I treasure.  

This back-to-school season I plan to take this challenge to join in on a new year of learning to expand my expertise, and perhaps even get some new stationery- it is part of the tradition after all. I will reenergize and prepare for a new season of education from all of my wonderful colleagues. I extend the challenge to you as well, and will jump start your first day of classes with these tools from the field of elder justice:  

I wish the class of 2023, including my colleagues who, like me, are not done learning, a wonderful first day of classes. I hope your fall session of learning continues to evolve and strengthen our growing field of elder justice prevention.   


Safe Exit