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Ageism

“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: November 23, 2021
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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.

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Commissioner discusses age discrimination for COTA Seniors' Week roundtable

11/5/2021
Senior man

"The last ism...ageism"

10/6/2021

Ageism Resources

What do people of different ages think about getting older brochure cover

What do people of different ages think about getting older?

The Attitudes to Ageing Survey was conducted by COTA Tasmania over the latter half of 2020. The survey was designed to ...

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