DELAWARE COUNTY—SourcePoint, Delaware County’s aging services provider, recognizes Ageism Awareness Day on Oct. 7, 2023. Modeled after the United Nation’s International Day of Older Persons (Oct. 1), Ageism Awareness Day provides an opportunity to draw attention to the prevalent existence and impact of ageism in our society.
The most widespread and socially accepted form of prejudice, ageism is defined by the World Health Organization as “the stereotypes (how we think), prejudices (how we feel), and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.” Evidence shows ageism is widespread in society and can be found everywhere, from our workplaces and health care systems to stereotypes we see on television, in advertising, and in the media.
“Ageism is not just a problem for older adults. People of all ages can be the target of this prejudice at various times in their lives, which is harmful not just to people who are the target, but also to those doing the stereotyping” said Fara Waugh, SourcePoint’s chief executive officer. “That is why it is important to raise awareness about ageism and its harms, so we can take steps as a community to change how we think and act about aging.”
During the month of October, SourcePoint and its collaborative initiative Age-Friendly Delaware County are running a social media campaign aimed at reframing aging stereotypes and stigmas. On Facebook, follow @MySourcePoint and @AgeFriendlyDelCo, and on Instagram @sourcepoint and @agefriendlydelawarecounty to like, share, and comment on the positive-aging posts celebrated throughout the month.
A few facts about ageism from the American Society on Aging:
• There are many forms of ageism, including internalized, cultural, implicit, and benevolent.
• Ageism decreases quality of life and can shorten lifespan by 7.5 years.
• Although it is universal, people do not always take ageism as seriously as they do other forms of inequity.
• Ageism intersects with, and exacerbates, all other discriminatory “isms,” including ableism, sexism, and racism.
• In the media, underrepresented older adults most often reflect negative stereotypes.
• According to the United Nations, on a global scale, one in two people are ageist.
SourcePoint is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides professional expertise, services, and programs for Delaware County adults who want to thrive after 55, as well as family caregivers. Services and programs are supported by the local senior services levy, private and corporate donations, grants, and the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging.