I grew up surrounded by the biggest names in aging. Eden’s first class of Regional Coordinators was initiated in my house, and I have met countless aging professionals since. My father took me to see the first Green Houses open in Tupelo, Mississippi. As a child I wore one of the first Eden shirts ever to come off the press. The point is I have been connected to the aging movement since I first started aging myself.
But sometimes when you stand so close to a thing you never really get to see it. I had front row seats to the Aging Movement and for a while thought aging professionals just kind of popped out of a hole in the ground. Kavan Peterson’s recent honor as one of Providers’ ’20 people to watch’ has shown me that influential people come from all walks of life and all generations.
For most of my life my perception has been that old people dealt with aging. Not elder old (I’ve spent enough time in nursing homes to know the difference) but rather parent old (I guess I’m talking about those boomers). And, as far as I’ve ever known, they have done a marvelous job fighting the good fight, taking on the industry one nursing home at a time.
Time, however, races on, and the torch is being passed to the new vanguard. Now it’s the X’ers, then it will be the Millenials, then the Y’ers (people born after the turn of the century). The only difference is now I see where people like Kavan came from in addition to knowing where they are headed.