Action Taken: Saying No to “Dress Like a 100-Year-Old Day”

September 19, 2018
Laura Beck, The Eden Alternative

A couple of weeks ago, Eden Alternative President & CEO, Jill Vitale-Aussem posted “Dress Like a 100-Year-Old Day”: A Call to ActionDid you heed the call?  Here’s how we did… we engaged author, Ashton Applewhite, Pioneer Network, and LeadingAge in a conversation about how, together, we could address schools directly about the negative impacts of this unfortunate ritual that many elementary school children are experiencing all over the U.S.

The result of this conversation is a letter penned by all three organizations challenging educators to consider replacing “Dress Like a 100-Year-Old Day” with truly meaningful engagement between young people and Elders.

We are asking you to share this letter with all of the elementary schools in your local area.  Send the link to school principals and the PTA.  Print the letter out and distribute it by hand.  Engage your local senior centers in spreading the word and engaging Elders in offering alternative opportunities to celebrate those 100 days.  Share the letter with local nursing homes and retirement communities and suggest that this is powerful opportunity for them to engage with the larger community and create opportunities to give, as well as receive.

Even if schools in your community are not partaking in “Dress Like a 100-Year-Old Day”, use the letter as a springboard to build community awareness about ageism. Or simply share this post. Have other ideas? Let’s hear ’em. We want to go viral with this one.

More good stuff for fighting ageism:

This Chair Rocks (
LeadingAge Anti-Ageism Resources (
Old School: a clearinghouse for all things anti-ageism (

More blogs about ageism from The Eden Alternative:

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel: Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Oscars Flub & the Knee-Jerk Response That is Ageism – A Challenge

Ageism . . . Not Just for Grown-ups

Ageism and Millenials


2 Comments. Leave new

Nancy Gray-Hemstock
October 12, 2018 5:56 pm

Thank you for the letter about dressing like 100 year old people. This is such a misnomer. Our Mum just died at 99 years of age. She was a sharp dresser until her death, wearing lots of color and trendy styles. Let’s get rid of stereotypes and ageism.


Yep, ageism is so small minded, ignorant and immature.
With regard to wardrobe, our 98 year old dad has recently discovered how comfortable and attractive Hawaiian shirts are. He looks great!


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