We will all likely become victims of Ageism eventually, why don’t more people care?
You’re free to deny as much as you want, but in the end, we’re all seniors in training. We are all old people in preparation, despite our denial.
In Western society, becoming older generally means being “the other.” Experts and senior advocates can testify to this fact. According to Margaret Morganroth Gullette, an American age studies scholar, ageism is still socially acceptable discrimination, to the point of being lethal. “As we get older, we’re perceived as being less human,” she explains.
The COVID outbreak has taught us a valuable lesson about treating the seniors in our society. Gullette prefers to call the considerable number of deaths caused by the pandemic in long-term nursing homes “Eldercide.” The point is that we don’t respect old age. COVID worsened ageism by forcing people to die in nursing homes as others did not value their lives. True, many people believe it was due to carelessness, but we can’t rule out ageism. Fear of ageing arises from entering “The Fourth Age,” a stage that reflects the more feared and neglected aspects of old age, as defined by British sociologist Paul Higgs.
It refers to the very stage of life when a person is old, fragile, or mentally impaired and reliant on others. According to him, people in their fourth decade are generally pushed to the margins of society, where they become invisible. “People who are placed by the ‘fourth age’ go into a third-person narrative. “He wants. We’ll make a decision. That will appeal to him.” And this is one of the things corresponding to the idea of agency, which many people are scared of, Higgs explains. ‘Be nice to your children because they’ll pick your nursing home,’ is one of the freshest jokes. Although it’s nothing more than a joke, it does seem to refer toward the real change that happens in future.”
As Higgs believes, we generally prefer to judge people based on their ability to influence society. “And one of the things that happen with people who are frail, who are cognitively challenged, is that sometimes, they aren’t considered as a complete member of society in some ways,” Higgs says. “It’s not to suggest that the answer is easy, but in the pre-modern era, there was awareness in Europe about looking after older people because that was the right thing to do. It would have been seen as an act of grace rather than a government failure in that era. We’ll all prosper if we can get into the idea that the way we integrate all of the people in our society and how they incorporate us is ultimately beneficial. That, I believe, is a healthy path for us to take.”