An old age problem? How society shapes and reinforces negative attitudes to ageing
This report looks at the language used by government, the media and social media, advertising and ageing-focused charities in relation to the topics of age, ageing and demographic change.
Despite different language being used by different sectors, many of their narratives draw on similar stereotypes. Ageing is often associated with decline and ill-health, and older people are commonly portrayed as frail, vulnerable and dependent.
These sectors were chosen based on their potential role in creating and reinforcing societal narratives on later life. Senior decision-makers with the potential to influence their sector’s narrative on ageing were also interviewed.
This paper is based on research conducted by Savanta ComRes and Equally Ours. It is part of a wider programme of work at Ageing Better, in collaboration with Age-Friendly Manchester, to examine how ageing and demographic change are talked about in society, with the aim of shifting to a more positive and realistic narrative.