Getting older in America carries its own set of stereotypes and discrimination, which is called “ageism.”
Insults and generalizations about aging run deep in our culture, leaving many elders feeling disrespected and undervalued. Here are ways you can combat ageism and help seniors live less encumbered by stereotypes:
• Pay attention to your own aging perceptions. Learn to look beyond the labels placed on older individuals. Be mindful that no specific age is considered “old” in today’s society. Learn to identify ageism language and unfair treatment of seniors.
• Celebrate older role models. Highlight older people’s contributions to society and how they positively influence all generations. Recognize a senior’s strengths and positive qualities.
• Foster a friendship with a senior. Build a genuine friendship with an older person over a shared interest such as pets or anything that makes you appreciate each other.
• Be an aging advocate in your community. Help employers rectify age biases in the workplace. Attend local meetings that represent the interests of the elderly. Write a letter to the media. Volunteer at a senior center.
Right at Home of St. Charles, a leading provider of in-home care and assistance, understands the prevalence of ageism across the country and works to help counter age discrimination in our community.