Practice question

What is ageism, how can I recognise it and how can I deal with it in my workplace?

Discrimination against older people can result in inferior standards in services that affect them

Discrimination against older people can result in inferior standards in services that affect them

Ageism was first described in 1969 by the American physician Robert Butler as ‘systematic stereotyping or discrimination against people because they are old’.

It can be complex, subtle and fraught with paradoxes.

At a time when increased longevity affords more time to cherish life’s learning and contribute to the lives of others, older people commonly feel marginalised (Jackson et al 2019), thus diminishing their capacity to contribute.

While increasing numbers of older people are a valuable societal resource, they are often viewed as a drain on resources (Cuddy et al 2005). Most of us desire to live as long as possible, but old age is commonly feared.

We are all targets

Ageism differs from sexism or racism in that it is universal –

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