Stop Ageism Now
Many older adults report being discriminated against due to their age. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) there were over 20,000 age discrimination complaints filed in 2016 alone and unfortunately, this number increases every second. Some of the discriminatory saturations that seniors are facing may include: being treated with less respect, receiving poorer service than other people in restaurant and stores, receiving poorer service in hospitals, being treated as not clever and being threatened or harassed.
Below are four simple ways to begin to fight Ageism
Exercise - Join a gym or begin walking outside. You can also join your local senior center and participate in their various activities; such as: Exercising, dancing and much more. Surrounding yourself with other active individuals will motivate and push you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Not only will you feel younger and healthier, but according to healthline.com, another benefit of regular exercise is that it can help you feel happier. You may even notice a difference to your brain health and memory when you maintain an active lifestyle. If you are a younger individual, you can make seniors feel welcomed at your gym.
Be engaged - Staying active is important and being mentally active is just as important. A simple way to be mentally engaged is to follow the news. When you follow the news, you are showing your family and friends that you are aware of what’s going on around you. Another way to you continue to be both physically and mentally active is by volunteering. You can ask your fellow seniors to join your movement or organization so that your program can benefit from their talent and knowledge. WCAAA has many volunteering opportunities that will help you give back and be part of our community.
Speak Up - If you feel that you are a victim of ageism or you see someone being affected by ageism, speak up! The only way to make a difference is to say something, because most people are thinking the same thing you are, but do not take the time to speak up.
Talk to your grandchildren ABOUT AGEISM AND DISCRIMINATION IN GENERAL- discrimination begins at an early age and be based on personal experiences; frequently it is taught at home. Teach children to recognize other talents and skills without regard to age, sex, disability or ethnicity. Begin by recognizing skills and talents in friends, relatives. Create an environment of praise for others as oppose to talking about their limitations. Recognize what others CAN do-not what they can’t do. We have all been guilty of using these phrases: he/she is too old to do that; he/she is too old to walk that far; they will never understand because they are too old; what do you expect at age 90? 94?
REMEMBER: Age should be viewed as a sign of increasing wisdom, skill based on life experience.
The five Area Agencies on Aging have started a campaign to end ageism. We are asking you to join our campaign by taking the pledge below. Once you have pledged, we will add your name to the list of people who have also joined the fight to end ageism. Together, we can bring awareness to society and break down the chain of unfair policies.
Let’s unite our voices and STOP AGEISM NOW!
They took the pledge!
Chris Fishbein / WCAAA
Ted Surh / AOASCC
Mary A. Moran