Recently, the idea came to me that it might be possible to create a logo that would display and encompass Engaging with Aging as presented in this blog. I found that I could identify the elements and their relationships. But translating them into a little logo was totally beyond me. My younger son came to the rescue and offered the talents of a young artist in his company. I shared the ideas. In a month Michael created this logo.
The circular area symbolizes the world of daily living as the ager is experiencing it, seeks to understand and engages with it. This “world” surrounds the aging insider wherever that daily living is occurring. It becomes the basis for the “engaging” activities. Outsiders’ visions of the same experience may or may not be congruent with those of the insider.
The perimeter has multiple openings to permit outsiders’ contributions to enter the ager’s world and the insider to reach out and interact directly or virtually with others’ worlds.
The river of aging wends its way through the countryside of the ager’s daily living and inevitably out to the sea. All rivers of aging have in common: changing currents, obstacles, white water and waterfalls to be navigated. But each individual’s river of aging is unique in its length, currents, obstacles, white water and waterfalls. The ager has options to go with the flow, or to actively seek to “read the river” and actively navigate it, as capacities allow.
The green leaf symbolizes ongoing “greenness” as new experiences and challenges test capacities and offer opportunities for personal growth, even as capacities are altered by normal age related changes (ARCs) and pathology.
The individual in the center is the engager. The nature of engagement will depend on levels of interest, courage, and cognitive and physical capacities. Others may help out by identifying blind spots, enhancing the engager’s resources, supporting in ways to make engaging possible, easier or more effective. But only the engager can do the engaging.
The sun is the symbol of the life force that makes possible the engaging. Bright or dim, its light and outward rays affect all parts of the engager’s world. Its rays reach out to outsiders as well.
In this Engaging with Aging blog I’ve applied the ideas of this logo to the elderly. But the reality is that infants begin engaging with aging and daily living from the moment they are born. So this logo, its elements and relationships are equally usable at any age. Yet-to-be-agers and care providers who are interacting with others of any age can find its elements and the relationships between them a useful perspective for shaping their expectations and interaction.