Discriminating against our older selves

‘Although largely unnoticed by mainstream media, something significant has happened with the rise of COVID-19: the marginalization of older Americans. Scorn for elders is now on full display. Some blame them for the shelter-in-place guidelines. Some even say they should be offered up as a sacrifice for the good of the country.

But the coronavirus affects everyone. It’s true that hospitalization and mortality rates increase with age, but a March report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows young adults take up more ICU beds than the very old. This may evolve as the pandemic ensues. However, it highlights the potential issues in ageist assumptions. So why portray only older adults as vulnerable?

…We are professors of gerontology at the University of Southern California. We ask anyone who considers themselves polite, socially aware and considerate of others to rethink the common, casual use of the stereotypical phrases that refer to age. Many people do value and respect the experience of older adults, of course; only by being aware of the implications of our word choices and behaviors can we start to adjust our prejudices….’

— Carolyn Cicero and Paul Nash, writing in The Conversation

One thought on “Discriminating against our older selves

  1. grzz40 6 May 20 / 1.09 pm

    Decades late and $zillions short. Even by the 1950s a huge industry supported storing elders away until their bodies stopped living, especially infirm or troublesome elders, and easily by the early 1990s people over 50yo were at a disadvantage in searching for matching their experience and salary histories. The only surprising aspect of the article is that it’s considered to have any insight.

    Like

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