Long time OMA advocate and 2020 LeadingAge Elect Chair of the Board, Carol Silver-Elliott has a strong vision to address ageism. We spoke with her recently to discuss her newly appointed role, her vision for the future, and how OMA has played a role in establishing greater respect and understanding for the older population in her work.
Silver-Elliott served as President and CEO at Cedar Village in Mason, Ohio from 2007-2014. She discovered OMA in 2008, when she came to Oxford to see OMA’s first ever art show by residents with dementia. She decided to bring OMA to Cedar Village to instill in her staff that “Older adults have much more potential than we are trained to see.”
In OMA, she saw the potential to apply person-centered care philosophy in an art-based activity that would not only engage the residents in her facility, but enable the staff to see them in a different light. Staff members came to view residents as creative people with skills and abilities, and were able to focus less on the effects of the disease.
“What we forget is that residents are still people with needs and preferences. OMA opened my eyes.” Silver-Elliott is now the President and CEO of the Jewish Home Family in New Jersey and has brought OMA to all locations within this organization. “Watching OMA is like watching magic happen,” she said.
Carol Silver-Elliott has held a variety of leadership positions in her career. Perhaps her greatest impact, however, may come to fruition as she addresses ageism in her current position at LeadingAge. As Chair of the Board, Silver-Elliott represents over 6,000 non-profit organizations in aging services. “I feel very honored to be stepping into this role for LeadingAge,” Silver-Elliott said. Carol Silver-Elliott has been a leading advocate for the aging population and we look forward with confidence to the changes she brings forth to advance the quality of care we provide to the aging population.