What is Ageism?
Ageism is the discrimination and unfair treatment which can be started on the basis of individual’s age. This form of discrimination can influence the confidence of the individuals, their job status, financial situation and even the quality of life. The issue also includes the way of representing the elderly people in the media and how it influences the attitude of the public.
Ageism discrimination can take any form. It can be:
- In the form of losing a job because of your age
- A rejection on getting car insurance, travel insurance, interest free-credit card, and new credit card because of the age.
- Getting poor service in a hotel or restaurant because of the age
- Not being referred to a consultant because of being too old
- Not getting membership for trade association or a club because of the age factor
Ageism can appear in many other forms too. The behavior of a senior is described in an ageist way. Old people tend to forget the names of people and they are even mocked on this issue. When this happens, they start hearing that they have a faulty memory. You can also look at some more social injustice issues.
Ageism in America
Ageism in America is common like other forms of discrimination. Inappropriate treatment continues to occur even in the workplaces. Ageism practices are impacting the seniors in different ways and this is leading to the reduction in financial security, poor health quality and most of all, social isolation. This all directly leads to lower self-esteem.
American population consists of a large number of individuals who are over their 60’s and hence the number of seniors continues to grow on rapid pace. Despite the increase in the seniors, the society still has not embraced them.
A survey was conducted on 84 people over the age of 60. It was found that 80 percent of these individuals had been or were a victim of ageism. They are always being joked about by the people around them and hence they don’t get to enjoy the quality of life they deserve. As a result, they become a victim of social isolation.
Age Discrimination against the elderly people in American has now become a part of the culture and there are many reasons behind that. Americans value youth, vitality and beauty. When you start aging, you start losing these qualities. Americans have lots of stenotypes regarding aging. They fear it because it makes you lose good health and beauty. They believe that putting yourself away from aging helps in elevating the fear of dying. Elders although are esteemed in many other parts of the world but it seems that respect for elderly is dying in America. By now, many myths and misconceptions have been developed in the minds of adults, teens and children alike.
Examples of Ageism in America
There are examples of Ageism in America everywhere. The common situation encountered is not being fit for the job just because you are over-aged. Even the late night shows and comedians joke about the senior citizens regarding their memory loss. Teens and even adults call the senior citizens slow. The commercials shown today depict that the senior citizens do not have any knowledge about the modern culture and the new technology. There are even some laws and regulations that limit the choices of the seniors.
The need of the hour is to realize how this attitude towards the seniors citizen in American and rest of the world is affecting their minds and lives. A lot of work is being done by the seniors themselves to stop this injustice but massive steps are still needed to eradicate this cultural norm.