senior citizen; museum; museum program for elderly people – needs and determinants; senior as a companion in visiting the museum
"Dyskursy Młodych Andragogów" (T. 16, 2015, s. 265- 278)
In the presented paper the author focuses upon the participation of the elderly persons in museums’ offer. The author sees senior citizens as a group of special needs and expectations for the museum institutions. The needs of elderly people are characterised with respect to the research conducted in English, Australian and Francophone museum environment. The results of the research concerning the presence of senior citizens at museums and the typology of their attitudes towards the museum expositions are being reviewed. One of the important considerations of the paper is to see the role of a senior citizen as a companion, mediator and initiator of visits in the museum in his/her family environment. The author recalls chosen examples of museum programs dedicated to elderly people. All these analyses are made in the light of social changes and demographic projections observed in contemporary Europe (already known as “Silver Europe”) as well as the main museum trends on the turn of the twenty first century, those oriented in their activity to diverse (also in age) audience. Pointing to elderly people as a potentially developmental group of recipients of museum offers, the author, (referring to Kennet Hudson) proposes the double metaphorical term for the museum open to the senior citizens needs – “the museum with a chair”.