Aging research questions

At Young Foundation, Jacques has done a terrific job in proposing research questions to orient our digital exploration. I think that they may play a major role in guiding the workshop that Amsterdam is launching next week.
To make them more visible on the blog, I am re-posting here Jacques’s questions and I have played the game of reformulating some to make them more provocative (of course, Jacques will correct me if I have misinterpreted his questions). I hope that they will inspire the participant of Amsterdam workshop and that their results will in turn be capable to make our public react. Other partners are invited to play the same game (do not comment, edit this very same post so that the new questions are be showed next to old ones). The more we make these questions lively, the more chances we have to find interesting anwers.

JACQUES: How significant are carer groups in the dialogue around ageing?
TOMMASO: It is known that caring for baby and young kids is a, enormously discussed topic online? Young parent blogs a lot (and they post on forums even more). What about people taking care of the old? 

JACQUES: Age related health conditions eg: Dementia seem to be the domain of health websites eg: Dementia UK rather than older people groups – is that true? How much crossover is there? Do older people groups shy away from getting involved in clinical discussions?
TOMMASO: In public discourses, older people are often defined by their health problems and in particular by the mental diseases (i.e. dementia). How do older people react to such labels? Do they end up accepting it or they propose alternative definitions of themselves? 
AXEL: What would a closer involvement of old people themselves in the construction of medical and social expertise on age-related diseases look like ? Would it associate old people even more with the diseases they could have, or would it help them keep longer the power over their own lives ? 

JACQUES: Is there an online dialogue for shared experiences of ageing, specifically one led by older people? If not, why not?
TOMMASO: it is often assumed that older people are reluctant to engage with digital technologies, but is this true? Maybe older people use the Web to share about their interests or hobbies not necessarily about aging? Is aging truly a central matter in the agenda of old people? 
AXEL: how influential elder bloggers are ? What are they entitled talking about ? 

JACQUES: There appears to be little dialogue around mobile phone technology and its adoption/adaptation for older people – who is doing work in this field?
TOMMASO: is it true that when technology is proposed to older people is always in a simplified and ‘soften’ version? Are really old people so afraid of technology? 

JACQUES: End of life care does not feature prominently in this database though is topical in the mainstream media. Where is the online discussion happening and who is participating in it?  What is being discussed?
TOMMASO: Is our death something that can be discussed explicitly online? Or is it a taboo that requires euphemism and understatements? 

JACQUES: Who is talking about assisted death?
TOMMASO: is help to die offered or looked for online? 

JACQUES: How involved are financial institutions in shaping the dialogue around funding – both personal financial planning as well as pensions, funding for care etc?
AXEL: what do institutions providing funds and services to the old people want in return of their gifts ?

JACQUES: Where is the discussion around ageing occurring in the corporate sector?  Who is leading it and what is their focus – return on investment, or improving care?
TOMMASO: Who is targeting older people? What are they advertising for (private care, funerals, entertainment…)? How is people making money on ageing?

JACQUES: Is there any bridging forum between central government and older people? If not, could this be created? Are there any exemplars in other age groups eg: young people?
AXEL: Government talks a lot about old people. Do they speak to old people ?

JACQUES: What discussions are being had around shaping healthcare provision around older people? There is a lot of talk in the UK about shifting resources into the community, but there does not seem to be a focussed narrative around how these services might be shaped to fit the older person, their lives and their world.  Or Is there?

JACQUES: What discussions are being had around social networks for older people – how to create and sustain them if they are found to be lacking? Who is leading this if it is happening?

JACQUES: The role of social media in helping discuss as well as address the challenges of ageing – is that being discussed and debated somewhere?
TOMMASO: is it true that Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr… are kid stuff? Are there exceptions? What older people are using social media for? 
AXEL: How similar/different is the role of social media to assistive technologies that sustain old people’s lives ? 

JACQUES: Is there any debate around government policy – there are sites that document these but is there a forum/sites/blogs that critically debate government policy around ageing specifically led by older people?
TOMMASO: It often seems that older people can only be the object of public policies, but is that true? Do older people lobbies? How and what for? 

JACQUES: What of telehealth and assistive technology? Does not appear to be prominent in sites visited on the database – is there a discussion going on somewhere?


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