Ageism and Stigma for Older Adults

As we age, we may find ourselves facing a variety of challenges. One such challenge is the stigma and discrimination that are often associated with growing older. Ageism or negative pre-judgments, attitudes, and behaviours towards elderly individuals are prevalent in many societies around the world. These attitudes can be highly damaging to older adults, causing them to feel isolated and marginalized.  

One of the most common forms of ageism is the expectation that older adults should be able to “do it all.” Despite their advanced years and potential health concerns, they are expected to remain active participants in society and continue contributing at a high level. This pressure can create an enormous burden for older adults as they struggle to keep up with expectations that may no longer be reasonable or achievable. The idea that older adults must simply “survive” rather than thrive only serves to reinforce negative stereotypes about aging.

What is ageism? Ageism is any type of stereotyping against elderly people. It comes in many forms, and because ageism is so ingrained in our culture, it is hard to spot and even harder to cease. One such myth is that the elderly cannot drive. While there are some cases where this is true, it is not a cold hard fact. There are people in any age category incapable of driving. Ageism distorts our perceptions, however, and we simply assume that the elderly should not drive. 

Ageism relies upon the myth that the older we get, the less we know and the less we are able to do. This is far from the truth, however. Just because an individual has grown older does not mean that they are less capable or less human. It only means that they have been alive longer. In order to fight ageism, there are some things we can do. The easiest way to start is by watching our own language and actions. If we perpetuate ageism unintentionally, the odds that this atrocious action will continue are pretty high. We need to make sure that we do not fall into this practice by accident. 

Another method for fighting ageism is to learn the facts about aging. Everyone gets older, and it is our responsibility to be aware of this. Just because someone is older than us does not make them any less human. This is especially true for the professional community; even some doctors fall prey to ageism without knowing it. If we are more aware of the aging process and know exactly how it affects us, we can separate fact from fiction when it comes to getting older. 

There are some downfalls that do occur with aging, but each individual is a different story. For example, dementia can and does occur in the elderly. But there are also documented cases of dementia in younger folk as well-not just the elderly. And there are many younger folk suffering from other types of mental illnesses. The elderly are not the only ones affected, yet they are the ones that get the bad rap. 

Finally, if we want to fight ageism, we need to make others aware. While we need to start with ourselves, in order to fully prevent ageism from occurring, we need to educate others about these pitfalls. Talk openly about ageism and the myths associated with it. This will make more folks aware of their own thoughts and actions and will hopefully prevent them from making this horrible mistake in the future. Aging is an inevitable part of life, the more that we know about it, the better we can do to live comfortably with the changes that aging inevitably brings, and the better we can be at protecting how we are perceived by others as we become older. 

Matthew G. Young is a freelance writer who specializes in financial, sports, and health-related topics. To learn more about in home health care visit Paradise In Home Care 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Matthew_G_Young/794130 

August 1, 2023

Written By: Clients Department

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