Photo contest seeks positive images of aging


Could seeing photos of older folks being active and vibrant help change stereotypes? The UMKC Consortium for Aging in Community thinks maybe it could help.

The Consortium is sponsoring a photography contest for amateur and professional photographers, asking them to submit real-life images that showcase older people in active, vibrant, relevant activities and lifestyles.

Photos submitted to the “Be BOld Photography Contest” will be used to display positive, upbeat images of aging on the Consortium website.

According to UMKC, the Consortium for Aging in Community is a group of faculty with expertise in various aspects and issues of aging who work to improve the quality of life for older adults. The Consortium believes that multidisciplinary approaches to education, research, program development, and outreach are crucial in order to appropriately respond to the complexities of our aging community, nation, and world.

“Typical stereotypes of aging are that all older adults are frail or withdrawn, but in today’s world, people are engaged in many different ways throughout their lives,” said Joan M McDowd, Ph.D., director of the consortium and a Professor of Psychology at UMKC.

“Ageism is, perhaps, the last frontier of acceptable bigotry in our society,” added Kelli Wright, co-director of the consortium. “Assuming that a person lacks relevance in society because of advanced age is not only unjust but also incorrect.  Older adults make meaningful contributions to their communities every day.  In a world that’s aging dramatically, we need to think differently about what it means to ‘be old.’ ”

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