It is more accurate to state that products marketed “for older people '' are intended for the caregivers of older people.
A spectrum of companies have developed systems to monitor the homes and activities of older people; but, when triggered by specific events, notify caregivers instead of the older individuals themselves. For example, the company MedMinder is a medication management system that notifies caregivers if the older individual does not take their medication within a two-hour window.
Stout, H. (2010, July 28). Technologies Help Adult Children Monitor Aging Parents. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/garden/29parents.html?searchResultPosition=1
The language, visuals, and concepts used in marketing to older consumers often communicate negative attitudes and perceptions of aging.
Advertisements can encode discriminatory stereotypes that assist in normalizing discrimination in everyday life. Age discrimination can include overgeneralizing, othering, and infantilizing older people and framing aging as something negative.
Tracey L. Gendron, PhD, E. Ayn Welleford, PhD, Jennifer Inker, MS, John T. White, MS, The Language of Ageism: Why We Need to Use Words Carefully, The Gerontologist, Volume 56, Issue 6, 1 December 2016, Pages 997–1006
Product marketing sells technology as a solution to aging by placing the onus on caregivers to ensure the health and safety of loved ones regardless if the technology conflicts with the desires of older individuals.
Having a near-axiomatic status in some circles, the aging-and-innovation discourse leaves little room for debate but paints an ideographic picture that is enticing, seemingly morally just, or at least correct, and thus hard to argue against. As such, this discourse profoundly shapes the future of aging.
2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).