Research into the communicative abilities of older people has tended to focus on the deficits that may occur in ageing communication. This paper explores the theoretical and empirical contribution of the study of communication and ageing of critical theories within sociolinguistics (for example, the works of Labov, Ulatowska). It has been suggested that, contrary to research from a neurolinguistic perspective, normal ageing in healthy adults is associated with increases in linguistic ability, not decrement. This is an important issue for those working with aged populations, given the increasing numbers of well-elderly in many countries. To deliver appropriate services to this rising population, improved description of the communicative abilities of socially active older people is needed. In this paper we critically review the available literature and suggest ways forward for both further research and clinical application.
2004 International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatics Congress. Proceedings of the International Association of Logopedics & Phoniatics, 29 August to 2 September 2004, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Queensland Australia (Brisbane, Qld. 29 August - 2 September, 2004)