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
- 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
- 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.
- 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