Four Snapshots for a Portrait: Research Paths in the Elderly Society (1993)

The third report on the elderly in Italy favours an inside look at the world of the senior citizens, giving space and voice to those who all too often become the protagonists of communication and information only in a negative way. A total of 1,500 older people were interviewed, distributed proportionally throughout the country. The results that emerged allow us to draw a profile of the condition of the elderly in Italy, which in some cases modifies or corrects certain social prejudices and preconceived images of the third age, but at the same time also opens up new questions, first and foremost the communication and relational dimension in the universe of the elderly. Therefore, the first objective of the survey was to define the socio-demographic structure of the sample examined by gender, marital status, educational qualification, presence of children, presence of grandchildren. Then, in the following four parts, the focus was on the well-being of the elderly, a condition for their active role in society, on their financial status, which is characterised by the centrality of pensions as a source of income, on their leisure time, which, although mainly spent in front of the television, does not make them passive users, and, finally, on their assessment of the quality of services.





Why four snapshots…

The framework

Who are the elderly?

The message: satisfied but more alone


Part I

At a glance…

The state of health


Adequacy of social and health structures

Social and family relationships

Emotional relationships: the right to sexuality



Part II

At a glance…


Income composition


Other sources of income

Elderly people’s consumption

Elderly people’s savings


Part III

At a glance…

Associative activities

Recreational habits: what older people do and what they read in their free time

The opinions of older people


Part IV

At a glance…

The relationship with the bureaucracy

The mobility of the elderly: means of transport

Technological communication

Technology in the Elderly Person’s Home

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