Dignity and respect are key factors associated with a more positive experience of old age. By contrast, disadvantage may be experienced by older people who have few social or financial resources, have health concerns or are living with dementia, or are subject to abuse or violence.

Experiences of disadvantage, stigma and mistreatment are often connected to earlier parts of the life course, as well as to structural factors that interact with ageing populations. Solutions rely on understanding the social construction of prejudice against old age and presenting alternatives.

Our research initiatives have included addressing public protrayals of dementia, examining the age-friendliness of workplaces and identifying effective measures to increase social connections and eliminate the abuse and neglect of our oldest citizens. Each area holds important implications for intergenerational relations in families, neighbourhoods and communities.

Current research

Dementia in the public domain: attitudes and interventions

This NHMRC partnered study examines public attitudes to dementia and wil provide advice on current and future public health campaigning. How people living with dementia, their carers, and health and service professionals perceive dementia will be compared with contemporary national and community initiatives aimed at changing public attitudes.

This is one of two projects funded through the NHMRC Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre and led by Professor Simon Biggs of the University of Melbourne and the Brotherhood’s Research and Policy Centre.

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Simon Biggs, Irja Haapala and Ashley Carr 2019 Dementia in the public domain: voice and age-based perspectives on dementia, social disadvantage and public health campaigning (PDF, 4.8 MB), published by the University of Melbourne

Simon Biggs, Irja Haapala and Ashley Carr 2018, Dementia in the public domain: a guide to voice, age and campaigning (PDF, 2.5 MB), published by the University of Melbourne

Recent projects

A shared journey: insights from the Banksia Younger Onset Dementia Support Group

The study of a Brotherhood of St Laurence pilot program supporting people with younger onset dementia.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes