Reducing Ageism through Education and Interaction

Can Ageism—Stereotyping or Discrimination Based on Age—Be Reduced?The World Health Organization has made it clear that ageism—stereotyping or discrimination based on age—is one of the most “normalized” forms of prejudice today. As the global population continues to age, experts in aging expect negative attitudes toward older people will likely increase.The Problem with AgeismThe culturally reinforced belief that we automatically become mindless, grumpy, and frail after we reach a certain age is not only inaccurate, it is unhealthy for all of us. When younger people think of older people as incapable, the end result is often the loss of valuable community…

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Ageism is Common and Costly

The World Health Organization indicates that ageism—or stereotyping and discrimination based on age—is the most socially acceptable form of prejudice on the planet. Because ageism does or will affect all of us, it is important that we recognize it and know how to deal with it.Ageism isn’t a Laughing Matter.I recently spoke to a local civic group about ageism and shared a story that many were quickly able to recognize as stereotyping based on age. My story was about an experience I had when I was in my early forties. I was a graduate research assistant at Portland State University.…

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Petspeak or Elderspeak: Is There a Difference?

Is there a difference between petspeak and elderspeak? That's what I was thinking about this week.I had just parked my car in a parking lot at Washington Square Shopping Mall near Portland, Oregon. I happened to be with a friend at the time. As my friend and I got out of the car, we noticed a grey-haired woman gently lifting a little poodle from the back of her mini-van. The woman cooed at her dog and used ‘petspeak’ saying something like, “There you go my sweet little precious.”My friend and I looked at each other while trying to control our…

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Gender Differences: Retirement And Aging

  Gender Differences: Retirement, and Aging Do your sex and gender matter when planning for retirement or living a long life? I’ve spent more than three years reviewing the literature on retirement and aging. I also became a certified retirement coach last year. Even though I’ve seen some articles and read books that talked specifically about how gender affects our ‘ever-after’ life, I believe some of the differences based on sex and gender need to be examined more closely. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be updating information and adding links as they become available. Work Identity Issues…

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We’re a Diverse Group: Stereotyping Us is a Mistake

  In Oregon where I live, the fastest growing age group in the next ten years is projected to be people who are seventy or older.  Our nation and our globe are experiencing a dramatic demographic shift as our overall population is getting older. Yet, we're a diverse group, and stereotyping us is a mistake! We are More Than Our Age What amazes me is that there are still people who look at those over fifty and simply see a wave of grey. We’re so much more than our age. We’re a diverse population. It is true that as some…

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Many Employers Are Reinforcing Ageism by Ignoring It

  Ageism is part of our cultural fabric – it is deeply woven into our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Ageism refers to stereotyping and discriminating against people and groups based on age. Yet many employers are reinforcing ageism by ignoring it. Ageism is Prevalent in Most Workplaces  Research, according to The World Health Organization, “suggests that ageism may now be even more pervasive than sexism and racism.” If you’re a woman or person of color, that’s like double or triple jeopardy. Unfortunately, many workplaces are not addressing this serious problem. This is a risky practice.   According to an AARP…

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