Friday, July 9, 2010

WOW Remembers Dr. Robert Butler

Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) recognizes the life and accomplishments of Dr. Robert Butler who passed away this week at the age of 83.

In the world of aging, few people made their mark like Dr. Butler. Throughout his adult life he advocated on behalf of all elders and educated the public on the many facets of aging and why he regarded it as a positive thing.

Most notably, Dr. Butler coined the term “ageism” to describe the discrimination of elders. Additionally, he led a critical study on aging, which concluded that aging is not the cause of elder-prone health issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease, but simply a risk factor. He also helped develop one of the first gerontology institutes at the college level and established the National Institute on Aging.

Dr. Butler’s efforts are a reminder of the importance of elder advocates and the continued study of elders’ physical and mental health and economic well-being. The Elder Economic Security Initiative and its tool the Elder Index aim to provide elders and their families with the information they need to be economically secure and age in place with dignity. The work of Dr. Butler will continue to influence how our organization and those around the world work to provide elders with a better way of life.

-Alisha Howell
Communications & Program Coordinator
Elder Economic Security Initiative

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