Getting Curious with Sherry

Sherry Wu

By Sherry Wu

Sherry Wu and Co-Fellows Celebrate the International Day of Older Persons

October 1st is the International Day of Older Persons.  The United Nations General Assembly designated this special day on December 14th, 1990.


For 31 years, we have honored the unique and essential role of older adults in our community, while raising awareness of the ongoing and emerging social and health issues that impact older adults globally. 


My family, along with so many other families around the world, are separated from our beloved elders due to the pandemic. In light of the increased hate and horrific and senseless violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, especially against our vulnerable elders, I feel more motivated to share the resilience, achievements, and wisdom of my dearest grandparents – my laolao and laoye.


Today, I am joined by my incredibly thoughtful, articulate, and accomplished co-fellows, Dr. Quinn Gentry, Gabriel Oke, Dr. Isioma Okolo, and Claire Bunn to share the stories, memories, and lessons learned from elders in our community. Through imparting their experience and knowledge with us, our elders have helped to add dimension to our identity, challenge our worldviews, and create depth in our critical thinking. 


To view the video, click the link below. 

Did you know, the United Nations projects the number of older adults worldwide will double over the next 30 years to reach more than 1.5 billion people?

In future posts on “Getting Curious with Sherry”, we will dive into how ageism is deeply rooted in our society, influences our perception of older adults, and takes away their personal agency to live a dignified, thriving, and meaningful life. 


Thank you, Laolao and Laoye, for showing me the importance of listening with intention, acting with humility, and reflecting with gratitude as the foundation for creating meaningful and lasting connections with people from all walks of life. Thank you for your dedication to science, to public health, and to the well-being of your neighbors and family. 

Taken during my last visit to China before the pandemic.

Listen with intention, act with humility, reflect with gratitude - the basic recipe for meaningful and lasting connections.

Finally, I want to leave you with Dr. Isioma Okolo’s thoughtful reflection –

"Elders hold part of our identity...the stories that don't make into history books. When it comes to certain cultures, there's always a lack of history or gaps of history -- it's not that there's a gap or lack of history. The gap and the lack [are] actually in the historians, the observers. The gaze is wrong. This is why as elders, [their] gift, their ability to tell stories, is so important."


Until next time!


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Explore the impact of social isolation on residents in long-term care here.


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