Age Advocacy on Twitter Over 12 Years. By: Ng, Reuben and Indran, Nicole. 2024. Gerontologist. Vol. 64 Issue 1, p1-10.

Background and Objectives Discussions on age-related issues have begun taking place in earnest, but exactly what dominates public consciousness about these issues is a topic that has yet to kindle scholarly attention. This study analyzes tweets uploaded by age advocacy organizations that have attracted the highest levels of engagement on Twitter. Research Design and Methods We collected 403,426 tweets from 53 accounts. These tweets were posted over 12 years, from 2009 to 2021. After applying our exclusion criteria and collating the top 1% of tweets with the highest levels of engagement, 2,054 tweets were retained for analysis. Both inductive anddeductive approaches informed our qualitative content analysis. Results Five themes emerged. “Issues Related to Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia” (Theme 1) formed the majority of tweets (62%; N = 1,278). Theme 2 “Rising Health Care or Retirement Costs” was the second largest theme (25%; N = 506). Seven percent of the tweets were on “Reframing Aging and Combating Ageism” (Theme 3; N = 138). “Matters Affecting Caregivers” surfaced in Theme 4 (4%; N = 81). Two percent of the tweets were on “Intersectional Concerns” (Theme 5; N = 51). Discussion and Implications As age advocacy organizations step up to engage the public constructively in matters regarding later life, there is a compelling need to quell public anxiety about old age and to sensitize society to the struggles confronted by older adults. In undertaking the range of activities needed to do so, age advocacy organizations should consolidate efforts even as they rethink existing strategies to effectuate change.