Cathy is available to speak locally, regionally and nationally on a variety of topics including:
Managing Director of Embracing Aging
York County Community Foundation
Cathy Bollinger joined York County Community Foundation in February 2014 in the newly created position of managing director of Embracing Aging. In this role, she leads this long-term initiative that focuses on culture change and how people experience aging in York County.
Embracing Aging’s goal is to create a community that is a safe, welcoming, appropriate, and adaptable place to age. In addition, Cathy develops and implements strategies to improve attitudes around aging so that we can understand and care about the needs and perspectives of all ages.
Cathy also provides strategic leadership and advocacy to help older people age in their community. This includes leading Embracing Aging’s grantmaking for enhancing and improving attitudes around aging, employment, volunteering, lifelong learning, arts and culture, isolation concerns, information and services, health and wellbeing, housing, transportation, and walkability.
She has over 28 years’ experience as a strategic thinker and innovative problem-solver in both for-profit and non-profit settings.
As managing director of Embracing Aging, Cathy is a monthly columnist for the York Sunday News, has presented at national aging conferences and as part of national webinars focused on building age-friendly communities, and has been featured on local radio shows, including Smart-Talk with Scott LaMar on WITF Radio. At the invitation of Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Casey, Cathy was one of four witnesses selected to present testimony at the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging in May 2017.
Personal biases impact people’s thoughts, words, and actions. We get that people think aging isn’t sexy. In fact, we live in a society that is “drunk on youth” and too often views aging as ONLY an impairment or decline. Ageism, systematic stereotyping and discrimination based on age is ever-present, largely automatic, and deeply rooted. It’s the one “ism” that goes largely unchallenged and is not recognized as an issue by the general public. Let’s talk about aging stereotypes and their impact so we can increase understanding of older individuals in people across different generations, creating workforces and communities that are more age-friendly, creative, and productive, and more open and supportive of older adult customers and residents.
Growing Old Gracefully
Is 60 the new 40? Is age just a number? Despite your actual age, do you feel that you are old? There’s no right or wrong way to age yet society bombards us with messages that places value on looking youthful and having the abilities of a younger person. Data indicates that negative attitudes towards one’s own aging can shorten lifespan by as much as 7.5 years! Let’s discuss our own attitudes and share tips to embrace aging.
Creating Communities that are Great Places to Grow Up and Grow Old
Do you know that nearly 20% of York County’s population is over age sixty and almost 40% is over age fifty? By 2030, the number of older adults from the Baby Boomer generation will have doubled since the year 2000. As Americans live longer and healthier lives, it’s important to understand aging in York County and create a community that is a safe, welcoming, appropriate, and adaptable place to age. Let’s talk about data regarding older York Countians and resources, including specific short and long-term strategies, to help make communities, businesses, organizations, programs, and events work for people of all ages.