The Myths of Ageing

Professor Graham Mulley

Posted on 12 January 2010

Myths surrounding ageing will come under the spotlight at an annual lecture aiming to promote the integration of psychosocial approaches with new technologies in medicine. 

The president of the British Geriatrics Society, Professor Graham Mulley, will examine how historical and contemporary images of ageing have generally reinforced negative stereotypes of old age. 

He will deliver the annual Yette and Boris Glass Foundation lecture in the Ballroom in Keele Hall, Keele University, on Friday, February 5, at 4pm.

Professor Mulley, who is developmental professor of elderly medicine at the University of Leeds and consultant community geriatrician at St James’s University Hospital, will argue that widespread depictions of old age as a time of loneliness, depression and physical decline have exaggerated the prevalence and severity of these conditions.

He said: “There are many myths of ageing that have been influenced by these representations:  that old people with physical or cognitive decline are social problems; that families no longer care for their elders; that geriatrics is an unglamorous specialty.  The challenge is to question these inaccurate assumptions.”

Professor Mulley has been President of the British Geriatrics Society since 2008.  He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and books including a textbook for trainees in elderly medicine and an ABC of geriatric medicine.