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How to Write for the Elderly

Read Time: 2 min

I've noticed that we have covered a lot of topics here on AFW, but I'm shocked–STUNNED, really–to find that Jenn and crew hate old people. At least, you'd think that they hate old people considering they never talk about them. I have been reading up on how to be a successful political pundit recently and I found that jumping to conclusions is a very successful way to become one. I'm doing that in this paragraph because I'm trying to be inflammatory.

In any case, we have never really talked about writing for the elderly. They're an ever-expanding market as baby boomers become angry old man boomers, so it's expedient to learn how to write for the elderly. They're a specific niche, so let me share a few ideas to write for them.

  1. Don't use slang. It really throws them off and it angers and confuses them greatly. They don't know what we're talking about with our foshizzles and Tweetubes, so try to avoid talking about them. The elderly can become frightened easily and might use their powerful jaws to bite at the thing nearest them, which might well be their computer. Do not become responsible for literally thousands of elderly jaw injuries sustained by nipping at their monitors.
  2. Do not use any goddamn profanity.
  3. TYPE IN ALL CAPS. THIS HELPS THEM READ EASIER. THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO CHANGE THEIR TEXT SETTINGS FOR THEIR BROWSER. THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TEXT, SETTINGS, OR BROWSERS ARE.
  4. Pander to them. Topics they love are World War II (in fact, any war, and I'm not sure why and it worries me a little), murder mysteries in which young whelps are brought to keel by a savvy older lawyer, knitting, baking, gender discrimination, hard candy, and denture adhesives.
  5. Don't insult their intelligence. If they're reading your work online, you can assume they know how to use computers at least a little. This would be a great time to tell them that they need to pay the standard Internet Article Per Usage Rate and provide a link to your PayPal so they can pay the requisite $50 for reading your work. They will gladly snap open their pocketbooks.

Do you have any other tips for writing for the elderly? Let me know via semaphore flag.

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12 thoughts on “How to Write for the Elderly”

  1. Oh my dear. This post had my blood pressure rising, you young whippersnapper. And I cannot find “foshizzles” in my dusty Scrabble dictionary – although it would be an impressive score to play against Gertrude, resident champion here at Peacefully Decay Nursing Home. Grumble, grumble.

    Show some respect Clint Insert-middle-name-here Osterholz. You’ll get here someday.

    Reply
    • There’s a rule in comedy: either it’s all okay, or none of it’s okay. I do make fun of a lot of people, but it isn’t meant to be spiteful. I hate that you took this as an attack because it really isn’t meant to be one.

      But then again, comedy’s dangerous like that. I’m sorry to offend, but it happens sometimes. Next week I’ll hopefully make fun of someone or something that you dislike. 😉

      Reply
  2. Vonnie: I think his whole point is that you *don’t* need to cater to the elderly.

    I found the post light-hearted and fun.

    This part made me laugh out loud: ” I have been reading up on how to be a successful political pundit recently and I found that jumping to conclusions is a very successful way to become one. ”

    ~Tui

    Reply
  3. Most of us old timers use our eyeglasses because our Lenses are harding preparing for death; but so is yours! You need to check on what you defined as elderly. I’m 55 soon to be 56 this weekend. I don’t use denture cream (yet)! I’m very young at heart. My pre-med student child can’t understand why kids, old men and animals love me. I’ve got quite a resume from writer, cashier, telephone operator, sales person, Office Manager, Environmentalist, I could go on and on, last count I’ve had 39 jobs; something I’m proud of indeed. I’m a yellow dog democrat, northern born but southern breed, and indeed far from what you talked about in your writing.
    My Mother who passed away this year was an advid reader. She was 80 when she passed but still loved to read. She read several magazines, best sellers (her last one I believe was the “Secret Life of Bees”), and newspapers.

    So, young man if you can keep up with the two of us. Bless yo sweet little heart.

    Reply

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