In many societies, aging is perceived as a fortunate circumstance. It can be argued that for most cultures, growing older is an end in itself. However, the actual result of aging is perceived differently. Within many societies, aging may result in loneliness, poverty and rejection from society. We have long wondered how this change of life, an apparent change in personal value, is established.
In search of answers we started researching seniors in many countries, including Brazil, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Uruguay and Cambodia.
We have spent most of the past few years in these countries doing fieldwork and working as consultants in the health care industry, developing our understanding of the process of aging and need for assistance, improving our concept of care.
Shortly after the start of this project we were confronted with strong convictions that people in different societies develop in their approach to old age and aging. In the Netherlands it is inconceivable that elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease roam the streets of Bangladesh as beggars, Cambodians are shocked to hear that Dutch seniors are separated from their families and left in the hands of the state.
This raises many questions and possibilities for dialogue that increase in urgency daily, as the world population continues to increase in age and health care systems that resemble those in the Netherlands lose sustainability due to economic decline.
With our growing collection of stories, research and visual documentation we intend to start an international and intercultural dialogue, exploring different ways to approach aging that aspire to conserve value and dignity.
This website serves the specific purpose of providing a platform for the elderly and their way of life. We want to draw attention to people who seemingly have no choice but to gradually disappear. We aim to provide this platform for people who wish to contribute to our fight for seniors around the world, hoping for a world where they can live together with others, contribute what they can and enjoy proper care and necessary means to stay alive. After all, aren’t we all growing older?
2 thoughts on “Elderly of the world”
I am conducting research on meaning in life of older persons and the way in which careproviders can attune to them (see website in dutch)
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Beste Susan, ons project http://www.festivalofolderpeople.nl zal je zeker interesseren…