Q&A with Guest Lena Makaroun, Assistant Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Pepper Scholar
Play • 1 hr 18 min

In this Question and Answer episode of Season 2 of the Demystifying Diversity Podcast, hosts Daralyse Lyons and Zack James are joined by geriatrician and aging expert Lena Makaroun, as the three of them explore ageism and the ways in which anti-ageist attitudes show up in our society. They focus on self-examination, allyship, inclusion, intergenerational connection and other tangible skills that each of us can utilize to become allies in the fight against ageism.

Daralyse, Zack, and Dr. Makaroun revisit some of the key points from the first two episodes of the Ageism series, then respond to listener questions.

In this episode, you will learn about:

  • The importance of diversity of exposure in eliminating not just ageism, but all of the -isms that shape our perceptions of individuals and the groups they comprise.

  • The critical role of agency in maintaining personal identity, and how it relates to ageism.

  • How paternalism is NOT allyship, and the ways in which paternalistic attitudes hinder a person's agency.

  • The role that age has as an intersectional identity that interacts with and impacts all other elements of individual personhood.

  • The ways in which we can all become part of the solution as we work together to combat ageism, with a particular focus on older and younger folx.

  • The different ways in which ageism can be presented, overtly or implicitly, and how coming from a place of curiosity can eliminate our own ageist assumptions and biases.

The organizations referenced in this episode include:

American Geriatrics Society

HelpAge USA

Gerontological Society of America

The Frameworks Institute

Anti-ageist children's books we recommend:

Harry and Walter by Kathy Stinson

Mr. McGinty's Monarchs by Linda Vander Heyden

My Teacher by James Ransome

Meena by Sine Van Mol

To get in contact with Lena Makaroun, this episode's guest expert, email her at: lena.makaroun@va.gov or lkm35@pitt.edu

Our guest in this episode is Dr. Lena Makaroun, MD MS:

Lena Makaroun is an Assistant Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Pepper Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh and a core investigator at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion. Dr. Makaroun's research focuses on social determinants of aging health and elder abuse. Specifically, her current work aims to broaden our understanding of multifaceted contributors to elder abuse, risk and susceptibility in order to improve elder abuse detection in the healthcare setting. Her goal is to develop evidence-based interventions to address elder abuse and improve health outcomes, safety and quality of life for this population. Dr. Makaroun completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania, M.D. at Weil Cornell Medical College and M.S. in Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health. In addition to her research, Dr. Makaroun loves caring for older veterans in her geriatrics clinic at the VA. She serves on the Board of Directors for the American Geriatric Society where she is co-chairing the society's Intersection of Structural Racism and Ageism in Healthcare initiative and is an associate editor for the journal: Innovation in Aging.

Click here for the episode transcript.

More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu