Ageism. It’s the stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.
In Canada, ageism against seniors is a serious problem. According to a survey done by Leger Marketing in 2012 (on behalf of Revera), eight in 10 people believe that seniors age 75 and older are seen as less important and more ignored than younger generations. Six in 10 seniors age 66 and older say they were treated unfairly because of their age. The survey also identified the three most common forms of age discrimination faced by Canadian seniors:
- Being ignored or treated as though they are invisible
- Being treated like they have nothing to contribute
- Assuming that seniors are incompetent
Why is it that so many Canadians have negative views about aging and the value of seniors, especially when most of us—that is, those that are lucky enough—will be seniors ourselves one day?
Each of us can help stop ageism again seniors … Say hello to a passing senior. Hold a door open for them. Start a conversation with a senior while waiting in line at the grocery store or coffee shop. Ask questions, ask their opinion, then actively listen. Reach out to elderly relatives and neighbours. Speak up when you hear a derogatory comment about seniors.
Take this short quiz to find out if you’re age aware when it comes to seniors.
For more information on ageism as it relates to seniors, here are some great resources: