The notion of ageism

Ageism is a social stigma in which people of all ages are discriminated against because of their age. The topic of age is also a significant concern in housing, representation, and service delivery environments. The most prevalent aspect of ageism in modern culture is the condescending depiction of man as an uneducated population in need of encouragement from the young. The new technological advances have broadened the debate on ageism, with many discussions focusing on the role of technology in age expectations as a primary focus. Institutions have adopted the perception leading to the formulation of age limiting policies both in the civil and active private practice. However, it is detrimental to the society to sideline potential and ability of individuals based on their age. Therefore, the paper emphasizes on how institutions have deprived the aged of making decisions or providing opportunities based on abilities. Key words: discrimination, the aged, the youth, institutions.



Ageism has characterized the modern society with many practices that portray the old as unworthy and unintelligent. For example, many cartoons today represent the older adults as not as intelligent as young adults. Similarly, the retirement plans in many institutions show that the older people are less suitable for the job market and need replacement by the young employees. Finally, it is common in public places such as hospitals to find nurses regarding the old to lack memory. All these practices are signs of ageism that the society need to avoid and view in similar perspective as the young.

Examples of Ageism and Ways of Avoiding Them

The cartoons today always describe the older people as less intelligent compared to adults as the Grandfather in the Simpsons (Hagestad & Uhlenberg, 2005). It is true that most of the older adults spent their early life when most of the technological advancement the society enjoys today did not exist. The modern world uses several technologies such as the computers, smartphones, and iPad. These gadgets have emerged due to the massive technological improvement that the world has witnessed in the past few decades. The use of cartoons in portraying the old as less intelligent takes different forms with the help of advanced technologies. However, the old grew up in an age where they had their own ways of doing things. The aged find it difficult to use the modern technology. It does not imply that they are less intelligent, but it is an indication that they had got used to other means. Therefore, the society needs to respect the older people and stop viewing them as less informed. Retirement and pension plans characterize the job market urging workers to save for their future expenses. Such narratives have made it common for the schemes to target the young as a potential group of retirement benefactors while sidelining the elderly. Most insurance companies have their benefit packages rated in age segments with a declining proportion as age increases. It is a fact that most employers consider the old to be underwhelming in their occupations compared to the young (Dennis & Thomas, 2007). There are several retirement plans designed for the old people so that they would leave their employment positions and rest at their homes while feeding on pensions and their retirement benefits. However, the society needs to consider the vast knowledge and experience that would go to waste when the old retire. The older employees offer more robust services in the job industry due to their experience and expertise in the field. The society should, thus, abandon the belief that work delivery reduces as people age. Besides, the young generation comes into the job market fresh from the colleges with no job experiences, and it is the disregarded old employees that train these young people. Further, the society needs to understand that the young generations only use the first employment opportunities as stepping stone to higher positions and would not offer a permanent replacement to the retirees. Ageism has become a common practice in public offices such as hospitals. Most of the young officers in the civil service regard the old people to be deficient in knowledge. The nurses regard the aged patients to have a lapse in memory and judgment. According to Kagan and Torres (2015), it is common to find public officers especially nurses seeking personal information of the old from their young relatives who accompany them to such places. Besides, when nurses find the elderly patients walking in the corridors of the hospitals, they are likely to ask them if they have missed their direction as opposed to how the same nurses would treat the younger patients. Therefore, the old should receive similar treatment as other members of the society and get consulted first about their personal information rather than disregard them.


Ageism has become common in the modern society with several studies emphasizing on the disregard of the old members abilities. Initiatives such as the retirement plans have led to the wastage of human resources in the society as the administrations force them to leave their employment positions and retire. Technological advancement and public institutions service providers significantly contribute to the notion of the aged as an incapable group. However, the society should respect the old and accord them similar treatment owing to their immense experience and expertise.


Dennis, H., & Thomas, K. (2007). Ageism in the workplace. Generations, 31(1), 84-89. Hagestad, G. O., & Uhlenberg, P. (2005). The social separation of old and young: A root of ageism. Journal of social issues, 61(2), 343-360. Kagan, S. H., & Melendez\u2010Torres, G. J. (2015). Ageism in nursing. Journal of nursing management, 23(5), 644-650.

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