The Alliance for Aging Research is proud to have dedicated staff members supporting the organization in its mission to improve the universal human experience of aging and health. Every month, we’ll spotlight one of our staff members here on the blog. This month, we are featuring Janelle Germanos, the Alliance’s Communications Associate.
What do you do at the Alliance for Aging Research?
I am the communications associate at the Alliance. In this role, I assist the Vice President of Communications in the Alliance’s communications and marketing efforts. I oversee the Alliance’s social media accounts, develop content for our newsletters and blog, and manage our Google Ads account.
How long have you worked at the Alliance?
I have worked at the Alliance since November 2018.
Where are you from, and what brought you to the Washington, DC area?
I am from Hampton, Virginia and moved up to the DC area to attend college at George Mason University in August 2010.
What is your favorite project or topic you’ve worked on while at the Alliance?
I really enjoyed utilizing social media to promote National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day. By developing content for social media, I felt like I was helping educate more people about valve disease. Seeing people share their own stories with valve disease on the Valve Disease Day Facebook page was encouraging—I saw that our messages are reaching people and making a difference! I have also enjoyed assisting in revamping the Alliance’s newsletters, including Living Longer and Loving It, to be an even better resource on all things healthy aging.
Do you have a personal connection with any of the health issues/conditions the Alliance works on?
I am passionate about ending the stigma surrounding mental health, and I admire the work the Alliance has done to raise awareness of mental health issues among older adults. My grandparents, like many other older adults living in assisted living homes, faced depression and mental health issues in the years prior to their passing. Because of the work the Alliance is doing to address mental health issues in older adults, I am hopeful that fewer and fewer people will have to deal with the suffering and isolation my grandparents endured.
What is something you’ve learned about healthy aging since working at the Alliance that has either changed your view or impacted the way you personally approach aging?
Before working at the Alliance, I had never heard the term sarcopenia—age-related muscle loss—although I had personal experience with this issue as my grandparents’ health began to decline quickly after developing serious injuries from falling. Through developing content for the Aging in Motion Coalition newsletter, I have learned about sarcopenia, and I am reminded of the importance of exercise and getting enough protein in preventing muscle loss!
What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls.
What is one thing that not many people know about you?
I love traveling solo and think exploring the world on your own is super empowering, especially for females! I’ve been on solo trips to Ecuador and Europe, and hope to someday take more solo vacations, particularly back to South America.