Resist Ageism

Ageism is about assumptions – the assumptions people make because of the age they think a  person is. It pits generations against each other – each one blaming another for what is wrong with society.

Ageism shows itself in the following ways:

  • How we think – when people become stereotypes and not individuals. Ageism is there when we say someone looks good or is smart “for their age”.
  • How we feel – when seeing people as stereotypes makes us prejudiced. Prejudice based on age is just as unacceptable – and just as ugly – as any other kind of prejudice.
  • How we act – when prejudices lead to discrimination. It’s age discrimination when policies, programs, and practices disregard and disadvantage older adults. It allows us to ignore abuse and neglect. It also allows those who care for older adults to be poorly treated and inadequately paid.

Ageist policies deny older adults the services that let them age safely and productively in their own communities. They are forced into institutional care they don’t want and don’t need. When policies are ageist, decision makers are not listening to older adults.

Ageism is dangerous. It violates basic human rights. It damages individuals, our economy, and society as a whole. Care Watch resists ageism by confronting it. It is a lens through which we critically examine policies and practices. When we recognize it for what it is, we can fight what it does to all of us.