Have you ever been the victim of ageism? If so, what was it like?
• Discrimination in marketing
Ninety percent of marketing targets people under 50, what’s shocking about this number is that one-third of Americans are above 50. It is even more ironic that seniors usually have more income under their control than younger people, and the number of people 50 and older is predicted to increase!
• “Old people go there!”
We all have heard this comment in many ways and most often from people the venue is intended to serve. Young adults and sometimes even seniors may find “old people” undesirable.
Kind ageism refers to designating protection/benefits to people because older age is supposed to identify a need. Three out of every five people assume more aged people are lonely and many believe their families have abandoned them. While keeping a connection to family members is crucial to preventing loneliness, only one out of eight seniors reported feeling lonely.
• Negative assumptions
Disability is also assumed to be shared among people above 65. However, disability is more common in older people than younger adults; it’s not as widespread as one might think based on ageing stereotypes. In 2012, about two-thirds of people above 65 reported having had no disability.
• Addressing the healthcare system
Research reveals the divide between expert information and the public understanding of ageing. Loss of control and decline is assumed to be a natural part of the ageing process among the general public. In contrast, experts maintain that features of our societies and homes are the key to preserving our health and independence as we age. Addressing the healthcare system without including social determinants of health disregards valuable pieces of the puzzle that define how we experience ageing.