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Sandra Preston

February 4/2013 Social Work 1A06 Aging and Ageism How are age and oppression linked? - As with other oppressions we use categories to gain and maintain power – in our society the elderly are stereotyped and treated in ways that allow us to gain power and control over them. o Eg. The elderly are a drain on the economy - The young are also categorized in this way and we have stereotypes and structures that make it more difficult to be young Ageism and our Older Population - Aging is also connected with an increase in health issues and disability. So the elderly are often dealing with dual oppressions - Although one of our stereotypes is that both elderly and those with disabilities are wear, frail and useless, the vast majority of the elderly (and disabled) are self-sufficient and contribute to society in many ways Negative Stereotypes - Most older people are poor - Most older people are frail and in poor health - The aged are important as a political force and require advocacy - Most older people are inadequate employees - Older people are mentally slower and more forgetful; they are less able to learn new things - Older people tend to be intellectually rigid and dogmatic - Most old persons are set in their ways and unable or unwilling to change - A majority of older people are socially isolated and lonely - Most are disengaging or disengaged from society - Most older people are confined to long-term care Positive Stereotypes - The aged are relatively well off; they are not poor but in good economic shape. Their benefits are generously provided by working members of society. - The aged are a potential political force that votes and participates in unity and in great numbers - Older people make friends very easily. They are kind and amiable. Most older people are mature, experienced, wise and interesting. - Most older people are good listeners and are especially patient with children - A majority of older people are very kind and generous to their children and grandchildren. Health - In 1997, more than three quarters of seniors living at home viewed their health as good, very good or excellent, while only 6% reported their health as poor - This is true for all older age groups; good health was reported by eight out of ten aged 65 to 74, and seven of ten seniors aged 85 or more - But seniors do utilize health care more often than younger people and their hospital stays are longer February 4/2013 - This could be address
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