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Older Adults in the Media

What comes to mind when you hear the word older adult? Is it an active person playing basketball or teaching a grandchild how to ride a bike? Or is it someone with gray hair who sits on a couch with their caregiver? 

Do a quick web search for “older adult”- what do your results look like? 

Even though older adults are growing as a section of the population, they’re absent from a lot of marketing; AARP found that older adults make up only 15% of images in the media. When they do appear in the media, older adults are still defined narrowly by ageism and negative stereotypes. For example, older adults are shown in a workplace only 13% of the time despite more than 53 million older adults (age 50+) being active in the workforce

AARP and Getty Images are hoping to change this trend with their Disrupt Aging Collection, a series of stock images showcasing older adults taking an active role in different aspects of life, including their family life, career, and travel. This is a huge partnership because Getty Images houses one of the largest collections of stock images.  

Getty Images Global Head of Creative Insights Rebecca Swift stated that “What we needed was imagery showing mature adults leading full lives […] the models in this Collection aren’t all dressed in beige, and their lives aren’t beige either. Revisit how you view aging and click here to scroll through the Disrupt Aging Collection.  

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Our easy to use and regularly updated resource directory is a one-stop guide to older adult services in Washtenaw County.