Elderly people as viewed by students
Public media tend to present aged people as physically disabled and afflicted by age-related diseases instead of emphasising their power of empathy, their will to offer help and sympathetic presence to others, and their ability to enjoy life. The stereotypic attitudes towards the elderly could be gradually improved by permanent education. The aim of this study was to overview the attitudes of various groups of students towards elderly people and senility.
A total of 98 students (second study year) from two higher schools participated in the study: from the University of Physical Education in Warsaw (Tourism and Recreation) and from Higher Vocational School in Racibórz (Pedagogy). They were requested to fill questionnaires ‘Attitudes towards the disabled’ of Sękowski (1999) modified by Szarota.
It was found that students regarded elderly people with sympathy albeit senility was perceived unfavourably.