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Ageism by Mind Map: Ageism

1. What is Ageism?

1.1. Prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group and especially the elderly (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

2. How did ageism come to be?

2.1. In America, the word "future" is associated with images of youthfulness, vitality, and productivity; words that aren't typically synonymous with “old age.” Although aging is a future-oriented process, “old” people--those who are successfully moving through the process--aren't valued. This is partly because they're seen as part of the past, and not part of the future. Yet, demographics show us that “old” people are part of the present, and are increasingly linked to the future. (Holmes, 2007)

2.2. It's not surprising that young people and the old people see each other’s experiences through ageist attitudes and related stereotypes, which are found embedded in literary themes and characters, textbooks, media images, public policy, and cultural mores (Holmes, 2007)

3. Ageism & Elderly

3.1. Older adults have a more difficult time finding gainful employment. They are seen as technology averse, unwilling to learn new skills, difficult to manage, too expensive, and not productive enough to justify the perceived increased expense (The New York Times, 2009).

3.2. Older adults more frequently have their health concerns dismissed by healthcare professionals. (Currey, 2008).

3.3. Older adults are typically portrayed with negative stereotypes (World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council on Ageing Society, 2012)

3.4. Older adults running for public office are routinely questioned about whether they have “what it takes” to serve in demanding leadership roles (York, 2014).

3.5. Older adults have historically made a meaningful difference in their communities through civic engagement activities (White House Conference on Aging, 2015)

4. Ageism & Youth

4.1. Discrimination against children and youth is caused by the bias adults have for other adults, which in turn causes them to discriminate against young people. Bias for adults is called adultism. When something is based on adultism, it is called adultcentrism.

4.2. The most “youth-friendly” adults are often adultist, assuming that youth need them – which, while it may be true in some cases, is still centered around adult perspectives. Adultism is not always harmful – but adultism is always real.

4.3. Adultism exists because of beliefs about the abilities of young people, roles of different people throughout society, and the nature of society.

4.4. Those beliefs have sometimes lead to the fear of children which drive much of society to segregate young people from adults, demonize youth in the media, and ostracize children from elders.

4.5. Discrimination through language may include: “Act your age.” “Children should be seen and not heard.” “What do you know, you’re just a kid!” “Do as I say, not as I do.” “You’ll understand it someday, just you wait. (The Freechild Project, 2016)

5. Remedies

5.1. Civic engagement provides ways of effectively addressing ageism. It gives older adults opportunities to exercise their desire, willingness, and ability to make meaningful contributions to society in a variety of ways. Civic engagement also provides a forum through which older adults can engage with other generations—on both the giving and the receiving end. (American Society on Aging, 2015)

6. A lifespan approach to teaching and learning about ageism

6.1. Encourage healthy lifestyle choices in children from an early age Give students a balanced view of aging Prepare students for future demographics Develop positive attitudes in children about older adults and themselves Improve relationships in multigenerational families Improve understanding of cultural diversity Give children knowledge and skills needed to live/work in an aging society (AARP and NATLA, 1997; Couper and Pratt, 1999)

7. Mind the Gap