As time continues to move forward, it takes us closer and closer to the late stage of life. In our society there has been such negative reputation when it comes to getting older. Many cringe at the thought that one day we will have health issues, wrinkles, and even have to experience death. For most death seems to find its association with old age and in reality there have been more deaths upon youthful beings than elders over the years. With the growing population of baby boomers there is no wonder why ageism is such a major topic among our society. The thought of being youthful to keep up with the younger generation is what everyone seems to feel is important.
When it comes to our society, it is crucial that we should do more to get rid of the negative stereotypes. The American Psychological Association (APA) has done their best to reduce ageism, sexism, and other terms that are related in this time today. The key to fighting ageism is to educate the population. There are many individuals who are victims of ageism and there has to be more done to stop these notions from being carried into our generations. Knowing this information, all men and women of all ages and those who are professionals in the healthcare system such as psychologist, should also be properly educated when it comes to the term ageism.
From research it was stated that,” not only are negative stereotypes hurtful to older people, but they may even shorten their lives and what’s worse, ageism also seeps into mental health care. Older patients are often viewed by health professionals as set in their ways and unable to change their behavior, aging experts say. Mental health problems–such as cognitive impairment or psychological disorders caused at least in part by complex pharmacological treatments–often go unrecognized and untreated in this growing demographic, many researchers believe.” (Dittmann, 2003).
Greater awareness of ageism can help our society tremendously, and I feel that this knowledge will be carried on to the younger generation to come. Bringing awareness about the stereotypes of ageism is always best. The idea of giving those an understanding that prejudice acts are not acceptable at any time regardless of the situation or topic, will help those individuals change the way they think when it comes to the elderly and other important factors in our society. For years we have struggled to educate and fight against wrongful acts of discrimination, and this is important to continue to fight for those who are not able to stand for themselves.
It is only normal to feel overwhelmed as we age and to expect the worst if that is all we have been taught. Although there are some cases of bad health and other issues with old age, does not mean that this is the case for every individual. In addition, this gives individuals more reason to understand the benefits of being healthy and wanting to live a long life. Speaking positive about becoming older, and learning that it is a normal process of life can help bring more acceptance to our communities and more respect for the elderly.
What should be mentioned to change the negative thinking process is that you do not have to be old to die. So this notion that the older you get the closer to death does not actually stand. A younger adult and child have the same chance of dying as a healthy elderly person. If individuals are educated they will understand and may not find a need to show judgment on the elderly. From research it states, “according to the National Vital Statistic Reports published in March 2007, accident is the leading cause of death in individuals aged 15 to 44 years, accounting for 19% to 49% of total deaths, the researchers reported. Of 781 cases reviewed in this series, 22 cases (17 men and 5 women aged 14 – 40 years) fit the study criteria” (Bullock, MA, 2007).
If we learn to make the challenges that the older population faces acceptable to talk about, we will be able to eliminate isolation that may soon bridge the gaps in our generation and generations to come. In all, becoming older is an accomplishment many are not able to live past their early years.
By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of. (n.d.). Fear of Death in Older Adults. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/57/4/P358.full
By contrast, among adults 65 and older, fully 60% say they feel younger than their age, compared with 32% who say they feel exactly their age and just 3% who say they feel older than their age. (2009). Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2009/06/29/growing-old-in-america-expectations-vs-reality/
Dittmann, M. (2003). Fighting ageism. Monitor on Psychology, 34(5), 50. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/may03/fighting.aspx
Do older people lose interest in sex? Ten myths of ageing – debunked. (2015). Retrieved September 14, 2016, from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/18/older-people-ageing-myths-busted
Fighting ageism. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/may03/fighting.aspx
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