Turn Back YOUR Clock with Christiane Northrup

Getting Rid of 6 Stereotypes About Ageing

Posted by on December 8, 2019 in Conscious Living with 0 Comments

Let’s face it, stereotypes are the annoying buggers upon which nasty opinions are formed. To some people, stereotypes are completely harmless. To those being stereotyped, however, that is not the case. The beliefs about a particular group affect how people in the group are treated from an individual and collective perspective.

We cannot get rid of the stereotypes we are not well versed with, however. In this light, here are some of the most common stereotypes about ageing:

1. You can’t teach new tricks to an old dog

Most people have been equating age with tech-savviness and the ability to learn. This, however, is not and should not be the case. Most of the older adults are gladly willing to learn and are eager to acquire the latest tech skills. Besides, we all know that the majority of college graduates gain their highly-valued skills from older persons.

2. Age discrimination is not real

Of the last bias that is yet to be effectively addressed is ageism. Like it’s close relatives, racism, and sexism, ageism is super real to those who are directly affected. At a time when other forms of discrimination are being called out and punished, this form of discrimination should not be left to thrive.

3. Retirement villages are perfect for older people

Age-segregated living has often been thought to have no serious effect on society, but this is far from the truth. This way of living contributes a lot to the worries about a possible generation war. The younger members of society will have little to no exposure to older members. As such, age-segregated living has serious adverse effects on society.

4. Older people are so sensitive

A joke ceases to be funny the moment it hurts the targeted persons. The “just joking” defence won’t even work when someone has been hurt by the words you said. This stands true for all “jokes” surrounding ageism and other forms of discrimination. It’s simply not true that older people are too sensitive.

5. Older adults get sick more often

Health does not entirely rely on one’s age or other collective factors. The probability of getting sick relies on personal factors. Most people, however, believe that older people tend to get sick more often compared to younger persons. This is not true. The reality is that older adults have a longer recovery period compared to younger persons.

6. They resist change

Did you know that most tech startups are founded by individuals who are in their 50s? Well, the truth is that very few older people are resistant to change. Most of the older adults are always willing to adopt change as long as it does not have negative effects.

Getting rid of ageing stereotypes

There are several suggestions (that actually work), for eliminating the stereotypes about ageing. Here are the most effective strategies:

  • Replace stereotypes

The best way to fight stereotypes is carefully identifying them, and then altering your response. Instead of just sitting and assuming that older people are always in need of your help, take action and ask them whether they require any assistance from you.

  • Think about other older adults

There are older adults all around you who don’t fit the stereotype you hold dear. Such adults may be well-known persons who have had great achievements or an older friend that you cherish so much. By thinking about such persons and how they don’t fit a certain stereotype, you will learn to think the same way about other older people as well.

  • Turn the tables

This one is more about placing yourself in the shoes of those you have been stereotyping. You want to think about how it would feel if you were in the same position as them. How would it feel if someone looked down on you just because you were older? By switching perspectives, you would understand their pain and do away with the stereotypes.

  • Make contact

At times, you have to try and experience what someone else is going through to understand how they feel. You can try to interact with a person who fits in the group you have been stereotyping and then spend time with them to understand the challenges they go through. That should make you change your mind and eliminate the stereotype

Final word

According to Jane Byrne of a nursing home in Bray, “Stereotypes about ageing are real, and it's high time we get rid of them completely. That way, it will become easier for older adults to live a happier life and feel that they are an important part of society. Besides, we are all headed that way, and no one wants to be discriminated against just because of their old age.”

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