Elderly Stereotypes

Addressing common misconceptions and stereotypes about the elderly population and aged care.

The elderly, especially those in aged care, have common misconceptions and stereotypes that can hang over their head and negatively impact their mental health and wellbeing. Addressing what these are, and our own unconscious biases, can help to ensure we’re treating those around us in an appropriate and respectable way rather than making harmful and false assumptions.

  1. Myth: All elderly people are weak and fully dependent on others 
  • The truth is that while some older people may need assistance with certain tasks, many others lead active and independent lives.
  1. Myth: All elderly people experience severe cognitive decline
  • The truth is that while the older you are, your risk towards developing a cognitive disease like dementia increases, that doesn’t mean that it’s a guarantee. Cognitive decline is not an inevitable part of aging and a lot of elderly people maintain their cognitive functioning
  1. Myth: All elderly people have no purpose as they no longer actively contribute to society 
  • The truth is that even after someone stops actively contributing to society, the legacy of their actions continues through those they impacted. Even then, a lot of people still work part time or volunteer in their communities as they age. Purpose for life isn’t fully based on your work. At Scalabrini, we enable residents to still live purpose-filled lives as they continue to age through other activities and means.
  1. Myth: All elderly people are resistant to change 
  • The truth is that change can be difficult for everyone no matter how old you are. Many older people love learning new things and are encouraged by changes in technology. However, we’re all allowed to have preferred processes and learn at our own pace when exposed to something unfamiliar
  1. Myth: All elderly people in aged care are there as a last resort
  • The truth is that while this may be the case for some people, the aged care industry is about more than just providing care for those who are unable to care for themselves. Aged care does’t have to be a negative or isolating experience either. Aged care can create more dignity for an individual due to having the appropriate resources and support available to them. Not only this, but it fosters community and systems are put in place to increase the holistic health of residents.

Addressing the misconceptions and stereotypes around the elderly, especially in an aged care context, is important to promote positive attitudes towards aging and older people. Scalabrini’s goal as an aged care provider is to support the health, wellbeing and dignity of older individuals.