It’s only fitting that a fabulous video called “The Blessings of Aging,” popped onto my screen Tuesday. You need to make sure it pops up on your screen too.
It is 4 minutes, 57 seconds of whimsy, profundity and delight — all delivered sweetly by seniors who are backed by music perfect for their upbeat message. And at the very end, the line “Executive Producer — Daniel Reingold” appears. Of course it does.
It was ironic to see the video because I had been outlining a blog about Reingold for some time. The polished production — directed by Jenny Schweitzer, it must be noted — epitomizes the many paths Reingold has taken, and the paths he has paved for others. It’s so good, the online New Yorker picked it up as one of its featured clips.
Reingold, of course, is the president and CEO of RiverSpring Health, the outgrowth of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, which his father, Jacob, once ran in metropolitan New York. In this role, he has become nationally famous for innovative programming.
Among other accomplishments, he led the creation of the nation’s first sexual expression policy in long-term care, and he co-founded what could be his biggest workplace passion, the Weinberg Center for Elder Justice, the nation’s first elder abuse shelter.
He also started a program for non-diploma bound high school students, and he led the way with a push to make medical cannabis obtainable for those in need.
Oh yeah, he also was given the nonprofit provider world’s highest LTC honor, as organizers call it. He was bestowed the LeadingAge Award of Honor at the association’s annual meeting in October.
“Dan is an inspiration. He continues to bring new ideas and creativity to his organization and to our field,” said LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan at the time.
The holder of a master’s degree in social work and a law degree, one can safely say, he has long-term care in his blood.
In 1975, his father also received the Award of Honor, making the pair a one-of-a-kind tandem. Dan succeeded his father to become president and CEO of what is now called RiverSpring.
He continues with his father’s passion, championing many efforts on behalf of seniors and their caregivers. None is perhaps closer to his heart than anti-abuse efforts. Some 20 providers have adopted his elder-abuse shelter model.
“I’d like to see it be about 1,000,” he told me recently. “Elder abuse is ‘hiding in plain sight.’ We’ll help anyone [adopt the shelter model] and give them the materials to do it.
“Ten percent of seniors are victims of elder abuse,” he continued. “What if 10 percent of dementia, stroke, COPD or falls victims didn’t have services?”
Thus, the man who has met three U.S. presidents and a king and queen, carries a drive that shouldn’t be overlooked. Gladly, LeadingAge didn’t pass him by in October when handing out its top honor.
Quality finds quality, as the saying goes.
You’ll find out for yourself when you click on the link to the smile-inducing New Yorker video described above. It’s subtitle is “Residents of a retirement community talk about the many upsides of getting older.”
Reingold and his crew can add it to a long list of other stellar achievements.
Follow James M. Berklan @JimBerklan.