THE Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland is “Raging Against Ageism” with a new campaign encouraging everyone to pledge to stamp-out prejudice against older people.
An age-friendly Queensland where everyone is valued and appreciated and no one is excluded based on race, geography, culture, language, gender, sexuality, ability or social economic status no matter how old they are, is regrettably not the society we live in, according to COTA Queensland chief executive Mark Tucker-Evans.
“Ageism is stereotyping and discrimination on the basis of a person’s age,” he said.
“Ageism is widespread and an insidious practice, which has harmful effects on the health of older adults.”
Mr Tucker said his organisation was working to create an age-friendly Queensland and had joined the World Health Organisation’s global campaign to combat ageism and achieve the ultimate goal of enhancing the day-to-day experience of older people and to optimise policy responses.
People can pledge their support to combat prejudice against older people on the Rage Against Ageism website.
COTA says ageism is an everyday challenge for older people: “overlooked for employment, restricted from social services and stereotyped in the media, ageism marginalises and excludes older people in their communities.
“Older people who feel they are a burden may also perceive their lives to be less valuable, putting them at risk of depression and social isolation.”
The Rage Against Ageism pledge asks people to:
- Reject stereotypes and focus on the uniqueness of every individual;
- Speak up when they hear people speaking negatively about growing old;
- Have the courage to question practices they feel are disrespectful to older people;
- Not patronise older people;
- Be patient, polite and friendly;
- Have zero tolerance for abuse or neglect;
- Build relationships with older people to combat isolation and loneliness.