The World Health Organisation states, ‘Ageism refers to the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.’
Classifying or stereotyping of our elderly members of the community is a large contributor to what makes them feel invisible and not seen or appreciated for who they are.
There is often a stigma around ageing where there is a tendency to regard older persons as debilitated and unworthy of interest or attention. A very prevalent belief is that they are unsuitable for employment.
There is an insidious undercurrent of thought about what it is to be getting older that becomes a truth if we don’t challenge or arrest that belief.
We have all read or heard the reports from elderly people where they have received outward discriminatory remarks from younger employers, colleagues, neighbours, or family members. They are often seen as a burden on society rather than a wealth of wisdom that can be harnessed for the benefit of the community.
The Australian Human Rights Commission states, ‘Young, old and everyone in between – Australians of all ages, have the right to be treated fairly and to enjoy the same opportunities as others.’
Have you noticed ageism in your community and if so, what would you like to see happen to support your elderly folk to lead more inclusive, full lives?
We invite you to share your insights and concerns on this super important topic.