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Ageing in the media: A glimmer of

13 Dec 2010

BBC Online has a photogallery of the work of Glenna Gordan, a photographer whose work we really admire.

"Aging alone"

Her pictures entitled "Aging Alone", show the residents of the King George care home in Sierra Leone.

She describes them "lounging about on the porches of their buildings, or using broken down wheel chairs as lawn chairs, living quiet and sparse lives. Some residents have found solace in each other, with afternoons shared listening to the radio or chatting in Krio, Mende or Temne, some of the local dialects."

Though nursing and care homes are not common sights across Africa, as the continent faces a growing older population, who knows what the future holds.

As younger generations continue to move to urban areas, who will be left behind to care for their older relatives? 

The BBC photogallery gives little room to context or to explaining the pictures so here are the photos explained by Glenna herself. 

A glimmer of "age helps"?

But after my last rather bleak blog on media coverage of older people's issues across the world, I'm determined to track down those positive stories, stories of active older people, stories that emphasise HelpAge's core message that "age helps".

Er, uuummmm....

Yes! Here's one!

The Telegraph reports on a new scheme in Delhi that will provide pensions to the city's older eunuchs. It is older eunuchs who most need the help according to the city's administration, as their earning potential is very low. The city's new hardship pension fund will support older people, and those widowed, disabled and divorced.

"It's more of a symbolic gesture than an actual help, but certainly it will give them a sense of being a part of society and help them rehabilitate," said MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) spokesman Deep Mathur.

Rehabilitate? I suspect there's more to this story than meets the eye.

So the search for a positive global news story about older people continues.

If you spot anything please do let me know. Email examples to press@helpage.org  

Your comments

Tarkile Saman

Hi Ms Cunninghm, Do you not agree with your own organisations's core message? Seems like you are being forced to find positive coverage of the elderly? Thanks Tarkile Saman

Rosaleen Cunningham

Hi Tarkile, thanks for your comment. No, I'm not being forced to find positive coverage of older people. I set myself that challenge! And I wanted to do it to also prove that we need to get better at addressing the negative attitudes that exist towards ageing, both in the media and in the wider world! Which is why we need HelpAge's core message! regards Rosaleen

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Author profile


Rosaleen Cunningham
Country: Ireland
Job title: Freelance Media and Communications

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.