The new images of old age

The new old ones are no longer those of 20 years ago. Now the baby boomer generation (born in the 1950s and 1960s) is retiring, lifestyles are changing rapidly. For older people, this means noticeable change – but it hasn’t arrived everywhere. According to a current representative study commissioned by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, negative opinions about old people are apparently particularly widespread in Germany, especially among younger generations. And the Corona years seem to have reinforced these images again.

The problem: Negative images of aging can downright paralyze older people. And physically and mentally. On the other hand, positive inspire. There are studies that say that people with a positive attitude towards old age live almost 8 years longer than others.

We need positive role models in all areas: in politics, in volunteering, in culture, at work… Role models like Nancy Pelosi, who at 78 took over the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives, the third highest office in the state. Actress Jane Fonda wishes there were more sex scenes in older movies. There are the granfluencers who are discovered by their grandchildren…

We are colorful and diverse and do not want to be invisible in old age, but rather to be seen and heard.
And when are you old anyway? In Germany, younger people think that people are over 61 on average. The self-assessment of older people is much higher on average, at a good 69. In a European comparison, 63-year-olds were considered old on average.
Isn’t it much more important: How do I grow old? What do I do with the years of longer life that I have gained, how do I want to live?

In Hamburg there was an exciting discussion about old and new images of old age. The video documents the first half hour of the panel discussion, including with our board member Christa Möller-Metzger, senior policy spokeswoman for the Greens in the Hamburg Parliament. Language: German.

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