Ageism. What does it do to us?

Ageism Burden

The effects of ageism on ourselves and our society are significant and wide-reaching.

Ageism affects us in the following ways:

Impacts on our physical and mental health, and life expectancy
Ageism leads to worse outcomes in a number of mental health conditions, including depression, and a number of physical health conditions, including shorter life expectancy.
See Harmful effects of ageism on older persons’ health found in 45 countries (Yale School of Public Health, January 2020)

Affects the quality and accessibility of services we need
Ageism adversely affected whether or not older patients receive medical treatment and, if they receive the treatment, the duration, frequency, and appropriateness of the treatment.
See That age old question (Royal Society for Public Health, 2018)

Affects how much we participate in society and how welcome we feel
Socially ingrained ageism can become self-fulfilling by promoting in older people stereotypes of social isolation, physical and cognitive decline, lack of physical activity and economic burden.
See That age old question (Royal Society for Public Health, 2018)

Affects levels of poverty and our rights at work
Large numbers of people over the age of 50 feel they are discriminated against, on the basis of age, in recruitment and selection for jobs and promotions. Ageist attitudes have a real economic effect on lives.
See No experience required (Centre for Ageing Better, July 2019)

Older people are more likely to experience hate crime, institutional and domestic abuse.
Abuse, violence and neglect: because of ageism, older people are victims of specific forms of harm. It also makes access to protection and justice more difficult for older persons.
See Ageing Equal

Creates division between the generations
A lack of contact, knowledge, empathy and understanding between younger and older people makes our communities worse for everyone.
See Together in the 2020s (United for All Ages, January 2020)

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