One in two people are ageist against older people. Ouch!

Yet why am I surprised? How did ageism factor into the neglect experienced by the elderly in long term care facilities during the pandemic?

The March 2021 UN Global Report on Ageism shines a spotlight on ageism and 2021 – 2030 is the Decade of Healthy Ageing aimed at improving the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.

Ageism refers to the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) directed towards people on the basis of their age.

When age is used to categorize and divide people in ways that leads to harm, disadvantage and injustice and erodes solidarity across generations, that’s ageism.

But wait? It’s not only about older people!

Both young and old may be denied jobs because of their age. Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg became both a leader and a target for critics, especially due to her age. And in Europe, the only region for which data is available, younger people report more perceived age discrimination than other age groups.

How we discriminate against our future selves has been previously covered by Next in Life and the UN report reminds us that we can be ageist towards our current selves.

Curious about how you can do your bit to combat ageism? Check out Initiating a Conversation about Ageism or the Ageism Toolkit, both produced by the Global Campaign to Combat Ageism.

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