Published By: Bono Sen

How Should Ageism Be Tackled?

Let the aging process be lauded, not discriminated against!

The concept of ageism prevalent in our society refers to the degrading, disrespectful and insensitive treatment of a person due to his age. This conscious and subconscious attitude of showing contempt towards a person only due to old age or keeping him outcast in the society is instilled in our psyche from infancy.  Apart from socio-economic and cultural factors, mainstream print, electronic and social media have played a major negative role in transforming 'youth' into a desirable and universally fancied object.

The way ageism is promoted in society

We are inspired by this biased attitude towards the elderly through various social norms, political practices and ideas propagated by the media. According to our social learning starting from childhood, after a certain age a person becomes physically weak and loses the ability to work, so the importance and influence of that person decreases in all spheres of society. 'Young blood means more ability to work, more productive workforce' - this concept is directly linked to the profitability of the capitalist economic system. Through the media, we have learned from childhood that youth is a very attractive and rare thing. There are various tempting products available in the market to keep the youth intact or to stop the natural process of aging and to reverse it. By using this 'aging inferiority complex' of the public and to minimize the 'disgrace' of aging, a broad market of consumerism has developed worldwide. In response to all this, ageism is becoming more and more prevalent among us day by day.

5 Ways to tackle ageism

There is an urgent need to build resistance against this growing problem of ageism worldwide. Discriminatory treatment of the elderly makes them mentally weak. At the same time they become victims of loneliness, alienation along with insecurity etc. Emotional turmoil associated with ageism can lead to severe depression among elderly adults. Which has a direct adverse effect on their health. As a result of always feeling unwanted and neglected, many older people lose even the slightest desire to live. The practice of companionship, love and impartial positive attitude of everybody towards the elderly, can actually free our society from the unjust evil effects of ageism.

Employing elderly people in the workplace

By using the experience gained in the life of the elderly, it is possible to make great progress in business or other work. Success can be achieved not only through physical ability, but also through the practical use of mental competency-this concept needs to be gradually conveyed to the public at all levels of society.

Opposing over-glorification of youth

On a movie or television screen, we don't usually see an older character as the main lead. From celebrities on the Silver screen to the public, everyone wants to hold on to their youth. Instead of celebrating the normal signs of aging, they try to hide it by dyeing the mature hair black or applying an anti-aging product of a famous brand to remove the wrinkles of the skin. Everywhere we look today, there is a celebration of youth and a cry for youth can be seen, felt and heard. The harmful effects of ageism must be suppressed by rapidly changing this social ill.

Spending time with the elderly

With age, every person becomes more and more hungry for affection and love. After retiring from work, the elderly suffer from loneliness. During this time, as their physical abilities gradually diminished, they began to feel more vulnerable, helpless, and a burden to everyone. The companionship of loved ones and acquaintances in old age helps an old person regain his lost self-confidence. The negative impact of ageism can be precisely prevented by practicing the habits of caring for older adults, hanging out with them and having fun with them.