Jane Bavineau, vice president of Sheltering Arms Senior Services Division, BakerRipley (@bavineauSASS)

When Sheltering Arms Senior Services merged with BakerRipley (then Neighborhood Centers Inc.) in 2011, Jane Bavineau thought she had something to teach everyone about aging services. After all, she noted that BakerRipley barely even had a senior program. What she didn’t know was that her widely shared narrative, which depicted older people as sick, frail, and a burden, was about to change.

Despite her protests, Jane and her colleagues from Sheltering Arms began using appreciative inquiry to learn more about aging and older adults. Instead of asking seniors about their needs and the challenges of growing old, they took an appreciative approach and asked questions like, “What brings you joy?” The responses were eye opening!

Jane will share how appreciative inquiry changed her perspective on aging and how this approach can be used to reframe any personal or community challenge. Learn how you can use appreciative inquiry to improve how you plan, deliver, and evaluate programs, and how it can transform how you think and talk about your clients. Instead of trying to garner support by “playing the sympathy card,” inspire others to join the momentum around creating purpose, meaning, and connection.