Activism Against Ageism

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What is ageism?

Ageism is the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people on the basis of their age. It has harmful effects on the health of older adults and is an everyday challenge for our ageing population. Ageism is common at both the individual and institutional level. 

Ageism can result in a person being overlooked for employment, restricted from social services and stereotyped in the media. Ageism marginalises and excludes older people in their communities and can have a negative impact on a person’s wellbeing.

Ageism is everywhere, yet it is the most socially “normalised” of any prejudice. Examples of ageism include:

  1. An imbalanced workforce.
    There is often a negative attitude towards older workers in the workplace but age is not a reliable indicator when judging a worker’s potential productivity or employability. It’s often presumed that older workers are less healthy, less educated, less skilful or productive than their younger counterparts but these case studies prove otherwise.

  2. Anti-ageing products and services
    A glance at any birthday card display sends the message that older equals bad. A look at the billions of dollars spent every year by cosmetic companies wanting to hide the effects of ageing suggests this too. The global market for anti-ageing products is forecast to reach $352.7 billion by 2020. This negative self-perception has an effect on many levels. 

  3. Provider reluctance
    Service providers often fall into the ageism trap, routinely attributing physical or mental symptoms like depression or aches and pains as a natural part of the ageing process without looking for other causes. Providers may also be reluctant to discuss using technology as a treatment or tool, fearing an older patient or client may shy away from it. 

Why ageism needs to end

Ageism is an often-overlooked barrier that puts unfair limitations on older adults’ abilities to travel, play and live. Ageism stops people from living their fullest potential and devalues them as individuals. Commit to build awareness, break down stereotypes, and challenge unfair policies and register for Activism Against Ageism. Can’t make it to the event but still want to get involved? Watch Ashton Applewhite’s TED talk and sign the pledge that EveryAGE Counts.  

On Friday 15 November 2019, the Centre for Healthcare Knowledge & Innovation is hosting an event in Byron Bay – Activism Against Ageing. The event will hear from a range of speakers (including keynote Ashton Applewhite) and will highlight the need to end ageism once and for all. 

Want to attend? Visit the TPL Event Directory for more information. 

This post is sponsored by the Centre for Healthcare Knowledge & Innovation.

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