How to avoid stereotypical communication when talking about ageing and older people

Wrong language or images can easily convey a stereotypical idea of older people. This sheet gives concrete communication tips that can make a huge difference in the way we talk about ageing and older age. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need support: estelle.huchet@age-platform.eu 


Language*

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Inspiration: (c) FrameWorks Institute. 2017. Quick Start Guide. Washington, DC.
*Additional versions of this short guide can be developed for other languages at a later stage

  
Images
 

  • Prefer people's faces rather than a body part (back, wrinkled hands) – it helps representing older people as persons with emotions and thoughts
  • Reflect the diversity of older people in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, ability...
  • Avoid pictures of hunched-over person – although many older people are living with a disability, disability can take various forms and not only be physical
  • Prefer group pictures instead of lonely older people – if you aim at intergenerational gatherines, make sure you consider alternatives to family gathering as more and more older people are also now ageing without children
  • Prefer active representations of older people – older people do much more in their daily life and in their community than sitting and contemplating the landscape
  • Prefer coloured pictures instead of black and white or sepia

  
Interested in going further?

Check our guidelines to adopt a rights-based approach to ageing
Check the World Health Organisation's guide to avoid ageism in communication

 

This website is developed with the financial support of an operating grant of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Commission. The contents of the articles are the sole responsibility of AGE Platform Europe and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.