Portrayals of Dementia

It’s been a while! Next to my ongoing writing, I’ve been searching for some old terrible vintage ads. For my research I needed to see how older adults were portrayed in the past. In order to compare these visuals with current portrayals of people living with dementia. Interestingly, I couldn’t find that many visuals, posters and or printed ads including older adults.

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Just the few I’ve started with here in my previous blog, stating that ‘Senile Agitation’ needs to be addressed with Thorazine or Ritalin. Where angry grandpa needs some medicine to calm down! 89baefe1dea27588d4832b8a963ea95c

Striking was that I did not find ads including women. What I found were stereotypes of aging, especially regarding men.

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Vintage visuals that do include women are that of younger ones. Then again those medicine advertisements poorly portrayed everyone. Withal, older visuals usually do not include older adults at all.

A few ads use the ‘smart’ doctor that smokes luckies, and  includes people that come off as a little bit older. But nothing more. It seems that just around the 80’s older adults are included in other commercials.


For example the ‘granny’ where all the men in town would do anything for to get. Even typing this is making me fringe. Another example is one of my favorites because it’s so horrendous; the lifeline advertisements! This ad including older adults that use the product is particularly interesting due to my research on dementia and surveillance technology. But, I’ll talk about that more some other time.

For now, I’ve got to go through visuals marketed in the last decade including people with dementia. Any suggestions are welcome or if you have remarks about commercials including people with dementia which you’ve found to be offensive, poorly portrayed or including stereotypes, please let me know!

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