Age discrimination or ageism occurs when people are discriminated against because of their age.
It’s ok to be young. It’s ok to be older.
Ageism affects us all – young and old, men and women. Negative attitudes and stereotypes about aging are deeply rooted in our culture television and movies, advertising, greeting cards, popular sayings and even cartoons. When we live in a culture where age discrimination is prevalent people tend to adopt the stereotype behaviour or accept it as harmless.
What about you? What is your attitude towards people of other generations? Take the quiz.
If you are ready to build more respectful relationships with people from other generations and take steps to overcome ageism in everyday life, here are eight great positive ways to get past ageism.
But is ageism really harmless?
Discrimination against any person is harmful as it sends a negative message about self worth, respect and ability. Incorrect assumptions and stereotypes act as a barrier between people so ageism harms not only the individual, but also our relationships and our communities.
The good news is that you can become more aware of ageism and work to break down barriers that discriminate against people of different ages:
- Learn to recognize and understand your own ageist attitudes
- Break down stereotypes about people of different ages
- Combat ageism in everyday life.
Think about it…
Do you sometimes discriminate against people because of their age?
- Do you say “she is so cute!” when you see an older woman do something that a person does, like riding a bike, skiing, playing a sport?
- Do you have a tendency to blame youth when mischief or crime happens in your area?
- Do you think that seniors are to be pitied or to be catered to?
Do employers sometimes discriminate based on age?
Older adults may also struggle when trying to stay in the labour market or re-enter the workforce because they face particular challenges, including:
- lack of education and access to training;
- difficulty in finding and applying for jobs;
- health issues, work-life balance issues and lack of workplace accommodations; and
- disincentives or lack of incentives to work in the retirement income system.
To learn more, visit canada.ca - Promoting the labour force participation of older Canadians