The image of being old

There is growing attention in the media and the general public for the perception of the elderly and the expectations of elderly care. What are our images with age, how do we look at older people and how do they see themselves? There are many conscious and unconscious positive and negative prejudices in our society that can stand in the way of a good old age. We investigate which wishes and ambitions the elderly have themselves and how they think about aging. We also want to better understand the image of the elderly. We are also investigating how we can influence imaging to contribute to a good old age.

Commissioned by the funds RCOAK and Sluyterman van Loo, Leyden Academy has done a reconnaissance on the image society has on growing and being old. This exploration in nine different countries resulted in a report and suggestions how to improve this image. Striking and almost equal in the countries under review are the recurring images of older people as warm and wise and on the other hand, incompetent and physically vulnerable. Unfortunately, there is little research into interventions and there is a lack of research into the images older persons themselves have. Changing the images on elderly is a challenge. The most effective it seems to enter into personal and equivalent contact.

More information on this topic? Please contact Jolanda Lindenberg.