Images of ageing are individual and social conceptions of old age (the state of being old), of ageing (the process of growing old) or of older people (as a social group). Images of ageing can also be expressed in concrete pictures, as in images in advertising.
With the programme 'Images of Aging' the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth has created a platform in order to inspire a broad public debate on the issue. It not only serves to demonstrate the effects of specific images of aging in different areas of life but also to raise all social stakeholders’ awareness of the potentially negative impact of certain images of aging.
Differentiated, research-based policies for the elderly in the Federal Republic of Germany started to evolve in earnest in 1989. The then Minister for Youth, Family Affairs, Women and Health, Prof. Dr. Ursula Lehr, appointed a commission of experts with the task of producing for the first time a comprehensive report on the situation of the older generation in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Conceived as a part of the Images of Ageing Programme, the touring exhibition “What’s ‘old‘ anyway?“ (original title in German: “Was heißt schon alt?“) was launched by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in the quest to help our society embrace a fresh and differentiated image of ageing. This has become necessary because the prevailing images of old age tend to be out of sync with the diverse life plans realised by the older persons of today and the strengths they possess.
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