Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
Jeanette Leardi, M.A.

2019 CSA Conference


Jeanette Leardi, M.A.



What's Age Got to Do with It? Busting the Myths About Getting Older

This presentation offers attendees an opportunity to explore the provocative but basic premise that aging isn’t a process solely defined by deterioration and decline. In fact, based on brain research, there are actual cognitive benefits accrued by the healthy older adult brain that only emerge with the passage of time and lived experience.  Embedded in this overview presentation are the following 10 questions:   

  • 1. What’s the REAL story about aging?   
  • 2. When did you first know that you were a grown-up?   
  • 3. At what age is someone an old person?   
  • 4. How is “old” defined?   
  • 5. What does “aging” mean?   
  • 6. What forms does ageism take?   
  • 7. What changes and what doesn’t change as a person ages?   
  • 8. How do younger brains and older brains differ?   
  • 9. Why does society need older adults? 
  • 10. How can you disrupt and transform attitudes about aging?   

Sprinkled throughout the presentation are moments of humor and interaction, and examples are backed by references to current research and trends. The session is designed to stimulate thought about –– and acceptance of –– the aging process and to inspire a desire to promote a change of mind in others. The intent is to leave attendees with an uplifted sense of anticipation (rather than dread) about getting older, and to provide them with solid information to share as they convince others to feel the same way.       

Learning Objectives

  • Be able to define what aging is and what it isn't
  • Understanding the pervasive myths of aging and why they are false
  • Learning strategies to combat ageism and promote pro-aging ideas and programs

About Jeanette

Jeanette Leardi, M.A. is a social gerontologist, writer, editor, and community educator who has a passion for older adult empowerment and finds special personal fulfillment helping Boomers and older generations identify and share their wisdom with others.

She has a Master’s Degree with Honors in English from Rutgers University and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her 35-year career began and continues in educational publishing and journalism, including authoring trade books for Bearport Publishing Co., Benchmark Education, and Time Inc. for Kids. She has held staff positions at Newsweek, Life, People, Conde Nast Traveler, and Sesame Street magazines and The Charlotte Observer. Her feature articles on healthcare and aging have appeared in Parents magazine, The Oregonian, The Dallas Morning News, and The Charlotte Observer.

From 1986 to 2003, Jeanette’s experiences as the primary caregiver to both of her parents inspired her to embark on an encore career as a gerontologist with the goals of changing perceptions about the aging process and helping people appreciate elders’ inherent dignity and unique value as mentors and catalysts for social change. She accomplishes this through her popular presentations and classes in journaling, spiritual writing, memoir writing, personal mythmaking, ageism, brain fitness, health self-advocacy, intergenerational communication, and caregiver support to people of all ages.

Jeanette has delivered engaging presentations to a variety of professional and general-public audiences, including at conferences organized by the AARP Foundation, the Centralina Area Agency on Aging, LeadingAge Oregon, the Oregon Recreation and Park Association, and Age-Friendly Portland and Multnomah County. She has been a guest on The Big Middle podcast in London; WFAE’s North Carolina Public Radio show “Charlotte Talks,” and numerous other radio programs.   

She is a regular contributor to Stria, 3rd Act Magazine, and Dr. Bill Thomas’ ChangingAging blog. Learn more about her at

Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal