April 4, 2016 AARP's CEO Jo Ann Jenkins to Discuss New Book, "Disrupt Aging"

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
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Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP’s chief executive officer, will discuss and sign her new book “Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life At Every Age” at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, April 20 at noon. In the book, Jenkins urges her readers to challenge outdated beliefs and stereotypes about aging and be a part of creating new solutions to the issues of aging, so more people can have choices about how they want to live as they get older.

“I want to disrupt the way we age in America,” Jenkins said. “I want to demolish our assumptions about getting older and help people understand that reaching 50, 60, 70 or beyond is not really about aging. It’s about living.”

Jenkins will discuss and sign her book, co-authored with Boe Workman, in the Members Room, located on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event is presented by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Jenkins, whose organization represents 37 million members, questions beliefs about aging including that aging is about decline (it is, rather, about growth, she says); that aging presents only challenges, rather than opportunities; that older men and women are burdens as opposed to contributors. “The negative stereotypes of aging are so ingrained in our psyches, they are difficult to overcome. So, most of us don’t even try,” she says. “We either just accept it and perpetuate the negative image, or, as is increasingly common, we just deny we are aging and fight it with all we’ve got.”

Jenkins, in her book, proposes a reality check for Americans about what it means to age—to accept aging as actual (“50 is the new 50”) but not buy into the stigmatization of aging and the obstacles that creates.

“People 50 and older today face different challenges and have different goals than people in their 30s and 40s. We see the world through a lens shaped by life’s ups and downs, by the wisdom gained from those experiences and by the comfort that comes from having a better understanding of who we are as individuals. We like where we are, and we’re looking forward to the years ahead. We are workers. We are caregivers … we are volunteers and philanthropists. We are leaders in our communities.”

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The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit Read.gov.


PR 16-063
ISSN 0731-3527