Look Closer, See Me

Pictures of diverse elderly

Generational Diversity & Sensitivity Training

Look Closer See Me is a five part training series offered by the Center for Aging with Dignity at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing. The training is currently being offered free of charge.

Older people are often misunderstood. Likewise, many older people are not treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. This training is intended to help those who serve and support older people, better understand them, and become more generationally sensitive.

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Look Closer, See Me

The Look Closer, See Me training series is based on a poem by the same name. Years ago when an old woman died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital in Scotland, it was believed she had nothing left of any value. Later, when nurses were going through her belongings, they discovered the poem. Today, the woman who authored it is known as "Anonymous." As the poem suggests, older people are often overlooked and misunderstood.

Did you know that insufficient knowledge about older people causes some professional and service workers who serve our greatest generation to:

  • Demonstrate unrealistic expectations through ageist attitudes, beliefs and behaviors which often lead to harm. 
  • Treat older people in demoralizing and condescending ways thereby exacerbating health problems and adversely affecting self-esteem.  
  • Overlook potential red-flags unique to older people that could lead to safety risks.  
  • Enable older people to forego needed care and support by rushing them and minimizing situations where their health and well-being may be compromised. 

The LOOK CLOSER, SEE ME Generational Diversity and Sensitivity training program was made possible by a grant from an anonymous foundation and the financial support of Marjorie Motch, an active 87-year-old member of the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing Board of Advisors.

Thank you to the many older people and representatives from various cultural communities who actively participated in this project by reviewing the training materials and sharing their thoughts, opinions and comments.

Thanks also to Arlene de Silva for sharing her cultural perspective and photos from her book, "Faces in Aging."

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