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Prior research has shown that exposure to some positive portrayals of aging can affect have positive outcomes consequences in for older adults, such as better performance on memory tests and lower cardiovascular stress. Researchers have suggested that exposure to positive portrayals of aging causes individuals to internalize these positive stereotypes. This internalization of positive stereotypes causes them to behave accordingly, leading to better performance on tests of memory and physical tasks.
One area in particular threatens to prevent older adults from making those connections: the digital divide. Mastering digital technology has become a key component of what it means to fully participate in society. If we do not provide technology access and training to older adults, we shut them out from society, worsening an already worrisome trend of isolation and loneliness among the elderly. I visit Tech Allies participants — whose ages range from 62 to 98 — both before and after their eight weeks of one-on-one technology training. We talk about their experiences with and perspectives on technology today. Some [things] just are not possible if you are not in the flow of the internet.
Learn more. AARP is intensifying its work aimed at rejecting the stereotypes associated with aging in media. As part of a multi-year initiative, the organization is pressing brands, designers, ad agencies and other industry players to change their immediate and long-term attitudes in order to overcome the misconceptions of aging portrayed in ads. Images in The Disrupt Aging Collection reflect older adults who are working longer, starting families later, raising children and grandchildren, and acting as caregivers for multiple generations. Telling a new story of aging is good for business, and The Disrupt Aging Collection can help solve a critical business need.