Our culture often undervalues older people, as reflected in the sometimes low standard of written communications aimed at them. Yet older people account for a large – and growing – part of the UK population.
In the past, we’d refer to ‘the older generation’ but it’s common for there now to be two – or even three – generations aged 60-plus. And there’s likely to be a big difference in the life experiences of people in their 60s, 80s and 100s – sometimes referred to as the ‘young old’, ‘middle-aged old’ and ‘old old’. So how can we communicate effectively with them all?
In Communicating with Older People, Sarah Carr examines what authors should think about when writing for readers aged 60-plus. Emphasizing plain-language techniques, her book includes guidelines on inclusive writing and covers such areas as purpose, content and structure; style and grammar; layout and design; and checking the text’s level of difficulty.
The book is available as a PDF on free download (52 pages). Single printed copies are available by post through our office address (price £12 – sent to UK addresses only). Please make your cheque or bank draft payable to ‘Plain Language Commission’ – no credit cards. Multiple printed copies are also available on special order – please ask us for a quotation for print runs of more than 50 copies.
‘You have given us excellent information about older people and excellent guidelines for communicating with them.’ – Janice (Ginny) Redish, plain-language expert and author of Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works
‘Sarah Carr has written a concise yet comprehensive guide to communicating with older people that succeeds in offering practical advice without ever coming across as patronizing. Not only is Carr’s book about plain language, it is a model of plain language … I would definitely recommend this guide to any organizations I work for if they are looking to communicate with older people.’ – Catherine Buckie, in The Clarity Journal