We often hear of the many prejudices in society, but rarely do we see the effects of ageism. For those who are over the age of 60, there are special challenges when it comes to discriminatiom and worse, there are few studies or solutions available. For many, they know too well that ageism in America is alive and well. With more baby boomers entering into their retirement years, the time is now to address ageism and deal with it in such a way that it doesn’t serve as a barrier for those wishing to secure better options in their employment opportunities, healthcare choices and housing solutions.
Ageism affects those in their 60s, 70s and beyond. As mentioned, it affects their healthcare, job opportunities and it puts a significant amount of economic pressure on their daily lives. It really is about societal perceptions and how that can hinder their efforts. The tragedy is that ageism is now believed to be a factor in our lifespans. In one study, it’s believed it can shorten an elderly person’s lifespan by at least 7 years.
Other statistics are just as startling.
Close to 70 percent of older adults surveyed reported that they had been insulted or mistreated on the basis of their age and 80 percent of respondents reported experiencing ageism.
This new study is focused on revised insights into how society views older adults. The negative perceptions are disappointing and because there’s so little focus on ageism, it’s difficult to understand and create better services, policies and opportunities for seniors and the elderly.
This new research comes from a series of studies from eight of the most recognized national aging organizations, including the American Society on Aging, AARP, the American Federation for Aging Research, the American Geriatrics Society, Grantmakers in Aging, the Gerontological Society of America, the National Council on Aging, and the National Hispanic Council on Aging.
Some of the confusion is based on stereotypes. In one example, because society equates aging to a decline in mental and physical capacities, they’re often overlooked for career opportunities. The study also revealed that a majority of the public believes older adults are incapable of learning new processes, which makes them a last choice for employers looking to provide new technology training.
The study focused first on understanding why older adults are perceived in this way. The collective agencies are now working to expand understanding associated with productively engaging with older adults. The goal is to empower hiring managers and other employers in a way that allows them to evaluate every job candidate’s’ potential in an objective way, regardless of his age.
Ideally, this new focus will elevate the discussion of ageism in America while inspiring us all to declare that we will no longer tolerate this prejudice. If we can help you or a loved one with life after retirement, whether it’s estate planning, Medicaid planning or guidance on collecting Social Security, we stand ready. Contact our offices today to learn more.