Ageism: A Form of Bullying

news-freedom-elder-care-new-jersey-ageism-healthy-agingWhat comes to mind when you think of bullying? Most would imagine children who are getting picked on in school or older siblings being mean to their younger brothers or sisters. What about the ageist stereotyping and prejudices that exist in our society?

We are currently experiencing a bullying epidemic in schools, but we must not forget the discrimination against older individuals. Although ageism applies to people of all ages, this issue is particularly experienced by older adults.

While adults 60 years of age and older are increasing in our society, some people are not embracing America’s aging population. Examples of ageism include:

  • Comedians making fun of older adults and memory loss for entertainment purposes
  • Doctors often   speaking past their older patients and to their adult children, as if the patient is not present in the room
  • Commercial advertisements depicting older adults as lacking knowledge about contemporary topics and technologies

Ageism robs older adults of choice, independence and dignity, and ultimately impacts their quality of life. In order to combat ageism, suggests the following:

  • Ignore the stereotypes
  • Educate ourselves about the aging process
  • Speak out against ageism
  • Watch how we speak
  • Avoid labeling individuals

Aging is a good thing and should be celebrated. And with it comes an immense amount of knowledge that benefits all future generations. Please join us in celebrating all of those who are growing older and living life to its fullest!