Senior man


“Ageism is stereotyping, discrimination and mistreatment based solely upon age. When directed towards older people, it comes from negative attitudes and beliefs about what it means to be older.” EveryAGE Counts.

Last updated: 21 April 2022
Senior woman

Ending ageism is the key to tackling elder abuse

Ageism underpins many of our policy failures in addressing the rights and dignity of older Australians.

The negative impact of ageism

Every one of us at every age is entitled to be treated fairly and enjoy the same opportunities. This does not diminish with age. But discrimination based on age is present everywhere. It can distort our attitudes to older people and contribute to an environment where:

  • Elder abuse goes unnoticed

  • Action to prevent elder abuse isn’t taken

  • Older people don’t feel like they can speak up

  • Older people are prevented or limited from contributing or participating as full citizens

It’s important to know that the rights of older people are protected by law and enshrined in principles established by the United Nations’ Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Their Principles for Older Persons state that every older person has the right to:

  • Independence

  • Participation

  • Care

  • Self-fulfillment

  • Dignity1

In Australia we aspire to a society that:

  • Respects and values older people

  • Appreciates the contribution that older people make to their communities

  • Affirms the dignity and worth of every person

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Take the Am I Ageist? Quiz

Ask yourself, "Am I Ageist"?

...are you sure?

Ageism against older people is stereotyping, discrimination and mistreatment based solely on a person's age. It is very common in Australia and, without realising it, most of us are at least a little bit ageist at least some of the time. Go to Quiz

What’s age got to do with it branding

What’s age got to do with it?

This report identifies stereotypes, attitudes and beliefs about age that prevail in Australia, and captures some of the ways in which people in Australia understand and experience their impacts.

Mature man in the park

Confusion and uncertainty about what ageism is continues


Ageism Resources

World Health Organization - Global Report on Ageism Cover

World Health Organization - Global Report on Ageism

The Global report on ageism outlines a framework for action to reduce ageism including specific recommendations for dif...

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Need information or advice on elder abuse now?
CALL 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374)
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This free number will redirect you to an existing phone service near you. This is not a 24-hour line. Call operating times will vary. A collaboration between the Australian, state and territory governments.

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