In comparison to racism and sexism, the ways in which the stigma, prejudice and discrimination of ageism impact older people is generally less understood. Ageist attitudes are reinforced by terms like “bed blockers,” blaming older people for overcrowding in hospitals, and “silver tsunami,” which connects the negative connotations of a disaster with rapidly ageing populations.
With the objective of combating ageism, Hamilton, Ontario’s Council on Aging has decided to launch a campaign that highlights the issues associated with ageism, while encouraging older people to share their stories. Eighteen older people living in Hamilton were involved in the creation of a “You’re Never Too Old” campaign book of portraits and inspirational messages, breaking the stigma of ageism and showcasing the beneficial contributions of older people throughout the city.
This anti-ageism campaign is just one way that Hamilton is becoming even more age-friendly. The city has made great strides for older people, receiving a 2018 Ontario Age-Friendly Community Award for its age-friendly contributions, as well as celebrating McMaster University joining the global network on age-friendly universities.
If you are interested in learning more, Combating Ageism is one of four key themes of the IFA 14th Global Conference on Ageing. Until then, you can learn more about the negative effects of ageism from IFA experts:
Dr. Jane Barratt Secretary General
As Secretary General of the IFA Dr Barratt is an internationaly respected speaker on age related issues across the globe.
Dr. John Beard Director of Ageing and Life Course
Dr John Beard, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., is Director of Ageing and Life Course with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva
Dr. Debra Whitman Chief Public Policy Officer
Debra Whitman, PhD, is an economist and expert on aging issues with extensive experience in national policymaking and global research.