ICAA’s Guidelines for effective communication with older adults

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Image recommendations

  • Show older people across the full range of interests and functional abilities. Older adults represent many functional levels, abilities, socioeconomic and ethnic groups. Showing all of these in imagery is fair, as well as effective.

  • Portray people engaging in a range of behaviors, roles and activities.

  • Avoid portraying a person in a manner that implies ridicule, prejudice or a negative stereotype.

  • Show the breadth of interests of older adults, including using computers and taking classes, socializing, traveling. Older adults who use assistive devices (such as canes, walkers and wheelchairs) are involved in all these activities and should be include when selecting images.

  • Portray older adults in well-kept, contemporary and fashionable (as appropriate) clothing and eyeglasses.

  • Show older adults adhering to universal guidelines, such as wearing helmets when bicycling, wearing closed shoes in gyms, and hats in bright sunlight.

  • Be cautious of a boomerang effect of exclusively showing only beautiful, fit and apparently wealthy older adults. This is also not a realistic or fair image of aging and the older population.

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