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Tips to Successfully Help Reduce Ageism

Ageism is the stereotyping and discrimination against a group of people based on their age. Today, ageism is likely the most socially accepted form of prejudice. Many people might not even be aware that they are being ageist and probably don’t intend to be hurtful to seniors through their actions.

Ageism creates a negative impact on older people resulting in severe social and interpersonal issues. It can also lead to a number of mental health issues among seniors. There is a huge gap between understanding the effects of ageism on the elderly and knowing what can be done to eliminate it.

If you are someone who wants to work towards reducing and ultimately eliminating ageism, there are some goals you need to set first. Here are some tips to successfully help reduce ageism, allowing older adults to receive the respect and peace of mind that they deserve:

1) GOAL — Accept the differences in older adults and acknowledge them as individuals

TIPS

● Spend some time with an older relative or neighbour

● Treat all seniors equally regardless of their mental or physical stability

2) GOAL — Identify ageist myths that you thought were facts and increase self-awareness

TIPS

● Do not engage in using ageist phrases like “over the hill” and “old people things/ moments” and talk to seniors like you would talk to anyone your age

● Avoid memes, movies, TV shows and commercials that use material offending or ridiculing seniors

● Spread awareness and discuss with others about how media promotes ageist thinking

3) GOAL — Participate and engage in social activities including all generations

TIPS

● Volunteer in your local community

● Come up with educational and informational activities including older adults and help them socialize with all age groups

● Organize or participate in awareness programs that promote care for seniors

4) GOAL — Try to change the perspective about older adults and challenge common stereotypes that exist in society

TIPS

● Speak up against ageist behaviour that you witness

● Postpositive stories and images of seniors on social media

● If possible, write a piece in your local paper about the effects of ageism/ ageist stereotypes and why they need to be eliminated

5) GOAL — Review policies and practices at the agency level to destigmatize the ones that treat older people with injustice

TIPS

● Educate people in the community about discriminatory policies

● Contact your local government to express your support

● Vote for candidates that are genuinely interested in working towards improving ageing policies and programs

Ageism does not only impact older people. People from all generations are affected by it, regardless of age. For decades, society has shaped how we view and portray older adults today. Our culture continues to support ageist stereotypes and myths, resulting in negative perceptions about the elderly.

It is about time to step up and change this course to ensure the mental and physical health of seniors, ultimately affecting their overall well-being and improving their standard of living.

Our mission is to create an inclusive North America where no older person is lonely. Learn more .

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