Gransnet forums


to ask the media to stop portraying the elderly as sad old souls

(74 Posts)
absentgrandma Wed 10-Sep-14 17:17:20

I am really getting hacked off with the way the media, in particular TV newsrooms, preface an article about the elderly... be it an item about dementia or care homes......with the same old library photo stock of a knarled,vein- marked hand grasping a stick??? It makes me so mad!

The same applies to library shots of care homes with 'old folks' (those two words should be banned from the Oxford Dictionary on the grounds of discrimination alone!) sitting in high-backed chairs placed around the walls of the communal lounge (God's waiting room) while the brain dead inhabitants watch daytime telly! What the hell is all that about? Do we actually do that in our owm homes?

If what's awaiting me I'd rather top myself. But I refuse to accept this is a true potrayal of the over -seventies today.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 10-Sep-14 17:46:26

Probably the over -what - 85+? Definitely not the over seventies.

Though, talking of gnarled hands... grin

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 10-Sep-14 17:47:09

No! Over 90s!

whitewave Wed 10-Sep-14 18:09:42

Mum is 96 and no one would recognize her from that portrait. She is frail but bright as a button - does the Guardian crossword and is as left wing as she has always been. Loves tennis ( hates Murray), loves good drama, takes a keen interest in the family - ( a bit outspoken at times) Loves clothes, and jewelry - always dresses up every day.

So take heart absent keep going and ignore those articles.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 10-Sep-14 18:16:00

So, do you think we all suddenly, these days, fall of our perches in the midst of happy, active, and interesting later years? Is there no longer that "twilight" time?

I seem to remember my granny slept her way into the next world. In bed. I suppose that wouldn't be allowed these days.

J52 Wed 10-Sep-14 18:16:37

As I get older, having stopped work and have more time to go out and about, I find that I meet people who are considerably older than myself. They are all very active, travelling, heading up community and professional projects. I only hope that as time progresses, I am as active in the next 30 years.
The media have a very biased view of anyone older than retirement age.
There are some people, who unfortunately do become frail, but I no longer think it's the norm or an individual's expectation. X

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 10-Sep-14 18:17:26

Should we continue with our daily 10,000 steps into our nineties? shock

Ana Wed 10-Sep-14 18:18:45

Should have worked our way up to 20,000 by then, jingl! grin

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 10-Sep-14 18:21:01

Darn it! I completely forgot to do mine today. hmm grin

Ana Wed 10-Sep-14 18:28:33

What - all of them? grin

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 10-Sep-14 18:32:30

Well... The sun's been shining, DH has been out playing, and I've got a good book on the go.

So I might have reached a couple of hundred.

Ana Wed 10-Sep-14 18:49:16

You can make up for it tomorrow...wink

thatbags Wed 10-Sep-14 19:11:58

If we ban "old folks" we'll have to ban "young folk" as well. It wouldn't do be ageist either way. We'll just be allowed to mention "folk" with no age qualifiers at all.

Not too sure about such ageist words as "baby" and "child" and "teenager". Very naughty to even imply anything about age, after all, isn't it?
[sarc emoticon]

As I am getting older, I'm noticing it. I expect other people are too. BIG DEAL (not).

whitewave has the best approach: ignore stupid assumptions (or scoff at them) and get on with your life.

hildajenniJ Wed 10-Sep-14 19:48:37

I did a fun quiz on Facebook recently. Can we guess your mental age? I did the test which consisted of ten seemingly random questions. My mental age came back as 26. I am actually 62, this made me smile, being my age but backwards. Age is just a number, labels are just words. People can call me "old woman", what the heck, I'm 26.

Deedaa Wed 10-Sep-14 21:30:31

I often find myself rejecting clothes I've been trying on because they make me look middle aged. I'm 68! When am I going to be an old person if I can't even manage middle age?

absent Wed 10-Sep-14 22:20:32

I think the use of stock shots of the elderly is just lazy journalism. If there's a piece about Alzheimer research or pension costs, you get the wrinkly hand lifting a cup of tea. Similarly, if there's a piece about infertility clinics or the birth rate, you get the shot of a woman having a mammogram. As for footage of an aeroplane taking off, I am tired of complaining that I know what one looks like. grin

FlicketyB Thu 11-Sep-14 08:52:44

I find all depictions of age equally irritating. I was recently stuck in a traffic jam looking at an advert on a site where they are building housing association sheltered housing. The picture was of two people with Daz white full heads of hair with teeth to match. They seemed to be standing on a yacht looking excited as they circumnavigated the world. Utterly inappropriate to what was being built and I found the this image of older people utterly alien.

But I find all depictions of older people alien. There are those unfeasibly slim (thin) perfectly dressed and coiffured ladies that feature in the adverts of one of the main commercial retirement home builders, or the other builder who features a cosy grandma with a maniacal smile offering a terrified small boy home made cakes (what is the obsession about older women and baking) like the witch in Hansel and Gretel while a leering older man (presumable her husband) leans over her shoulder. I find them both equally inimical. But neither do I identify with knarled hands, sticks, and kindly helpers.

The problem is the age range of 'old' is so wide 65 (55!) to 100 plus and the older you get the more diverse people look. I have seen women in their early 50s that are white haired with fine lined skin and 70 pluses with little grey hair and unlined skins.

Oddly enough the best illustrated adverts are those for orthopaedic chairs and walk in baths. They do not pretend to illustrate old age, they just use women and men in their 30s and 40s to illustrate their wares so no process of identification is required.

Gracesgran Thu 11-Sep-14 09:02:04

Absent my experience of the Alzheimer's campaign is just the opposite. I can see that they are making people very aware of the younger people who live with this disease. If you join the Alzheimer's friends campaign you will see that there are many pictures of younger people.

absent Thu 11-Sep-14 09:16:49

I wasn't talking about charity campaigns but about news broadcasts"Gracesgran*. They use library shots of "old" people on Zimmer frames for any news about "old" people - often completely irrelevant.

Wheniwasyourage Thu 11-Sep-14 09:28:01

I'm fed up with the constant use of "pensioner" in newspaper reports ("Pensioner killed in road smash" for example, or even "Pensioner drives wrong way down motorway"). It's just lazy. How do they know that someone has a pension, even if it's relevant? Women are no longer getting the state pension at 60, and somebody's personal pension, if any, is not public knowledge. These people are still men and women and could be called that, just as if they were still in their 30s. Grrr. angry

harrigran Thu 11-Sep-14 09:54:28

At present, on the radio, they are urging families to check smoke alarms of their relatives who are over 65. I can just imagine DH's face if DC turned up to check his alarm grin

gillybob Thu 11-Sep-14 10:10:40

When should anyone call themselves old? Is being "old" just a state of mind? None of us can see ourselves getting old but can we see it better in other people? My parents have always seemed old to me. Or maybe just old fashioned which is not the same is it? Up until only a few years ago and well into her 90's my grandma used to talk about some poor dear "getting old" . So perhaps it is just all in the mind.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 11-Sep-14 10:15:13

Harrigran Yes. grin

PRINTMISS Thu 11-Sep-14 11:35:37

Age is all relative - and all in the mind. Yes, there are adverts and news-items which depict the 'elderly' as frail and dependent, and there are obviously those who are. There are others who are enjoying their twilight years, and we should be pleased about that. The trouble is the ones who are able to enjoy their lives only get depicted in the holiday brochures!

FlicketyB Thu 11-Sep-14 12:47:32

I think advertisers would be wise to avoid picturing older people in adverts at all. No matter what they show the image will be inimical to at least the 90% of the older population who see it and will only put them off the product, whatever it is.

Age is irrelevant, except in the very limited market of disability aids, including housing - and even then disability affects all ages. Why do not advertisers realise that the consumption patterns of most older people, especially those under about 80 are very little different to that of other members of the population. We are most of us computer savvy, we shop in the same shops, buy the same products, wear the same clothes.

I really have no interest in buying anything tailored for the older demographic, least of all clothes with elastic waists.