State Fiscal Year 2016
Have you ever experienced vujà dé? Not déjà vu, which is that odd feeling of familiarity you get in an unfamiliar situation. No, vujà dé is a popular concept for those who study problem-solving and innovation. It can be described as the opposite of déjà vu: Being in a familiar situation, but viewing it from an unfamiliar, fresh perspective. Sometimes, we can become so familiar with a situation, a concept or a problem, that innovation slows or ceases altogether. Vujà dé is about forcing ourselves to step out of what we know so that we gain new insight and ideas.
Aging is not a new challenge, but it is one that is being transformed by the complexity and enormity of our growing and changing population. Five years ago, Ohio had a vujà dé moment regarding how we care for and serve elders and Ohioans with disabilities. Since then, we’ve continued to use proven theories of innovation to develop, implement and sustain creative thinking and problem solving.
It is not just us in public service and the aging network who need to think differently about aging and elders. Ohio’s communities are powerful, and Ohioans want to help one another. Thus, we had another vujà dé moment when we realized that engaging and unleashing our communities to provide opportunities and supports for our elders must be a priority. The result is an initiative launched this year, dubbed "Aging. It’s Everybody’s Business." which you’ll learn more about in this report.
So, I invite you to join us in experiencing vujà dé. Instead of striving to do the same things better, aim instead to do better things. Stop and say: "Hmmm, this is good, but what are we really trying to achieve? What outcomes can we produce and what impact will they have?" When we remove negativity from conversations about aging, and work together at all levels to foster innovative solutions, I’m confident that we can ensure the best life possible for all Ohioans throughout the lifespan.
Bonnie K. Burman, Sc.D.
Ohio Department of Aging
Download the Annual Report.