Sample Paper on How Ageing and Ageism Impact Our Society

How Aging and Ageism Impact Our Society

The world’s population is aging at an unprecedented rate and life expectancy has increased. The baby boomer generation, individuals born between 1946 and 1964, consists of a substantial portion of the world’s population. Longevity is majorly attributed to improved healthcare. According to WHO, the world’s population aged above 60 is expected to grow up to 2 billion in 2050 from 90 million in 2015 (2018). Increased life expectancy and the aging baby boomer population have paved way to ageism, unjust treatment basing on age. Although aging is normally presented in a negative light in connection to deterioration and dependency, the aging population has economic, social, and civic benefits to the society. Since ageism can deter the society from reaping the benefits of aging, strategies need to be established to solve the issues of aging.

Aging has a positive impact not only on older people and their families but the entire society too. Longevity offers individuals opportunities to embark on new pursuits like advancing education or a new career (WHO, 2018). For instance, I have seen a good number of individuals graduating with Masters Degrees or PhDs are normal at the age of 55 to 60 or above. Advancing education is not only translates to attainment of more knowledge but also contributes greatly to the economy through labor force. Secondly, the aging population profits families and communities. Older men and women are primary caregivers for children and grandchildren (Harper, 2018). Furthermore, when older citizens remain employed, their paid labor contributes to the growth of an economy. It is, however, important to note that the extent of these opportunities rely majorly on health. When older people attain good health and receive all forms of support, they are likely to be most productive.

While the society stands a chance to reap great benefits of aging, ageism and related issues have always been a stumbling block. Older people are mostly marginalized in various facets of life including employment, social life, recreation, and housing among others (Sweetland et al., 2017). A study by AARP revealed a nationwide survey that indicated reports of discrimination in the workplace by 67% of workers between ages 45 and 74 (2014). The study further revealed that older applicants were less likely to be invited to job interviews relative to their younger counterparts. This is because ageism, as mentioned above, is associated with deterioration of health and dependency. Additionally, ageism is not recognized as a problem in society. As a result, the development of aging policies has experienced a slow pace, inconveniencing not only the older people but the entire society too.

Various strategies can be established to combat the ageism and its effects. There is need to recognize that aging has both advantages and disadvantages and strive to promote the advantages while minimizing the disadvantages (Sweetland et al., 2017). Although aging is majorly associated with reduced physical and mental capacity, families and the public can be taught ways of promoting good health among the older people to ensure they live comfortable lives and are more productive. Embracing aging is another solution to ageism and related issues. While addressing the older generation, instead of using pronouns like “them” and “they”, we can use “they” or “us”. Using such pronouns eliminates a sense of segregation of the older people, thus, promoting inclusivity. These strategy works to break the bond between older people and other cohorts, making the older people to feel embraced.

Aging is also viewed as an individual concern since it is widely believed that personal choices are determinants of health, wealth, and wellbeing of the older people (Sweetland et al., 2017). To elevate the issue on a societal level, leaders and policy makers can advocate for a cultural shift in the aging perceptions and present it as a societal problem. Awareness on aging can also be increased to disseminate knowledge that ageism is a ubiquitous issue that has negative consequences. Once the public understands this concept, they will be better positioned to support aging members, hence, reduction of ageism. Understanding the concept of aging will also encourage participation and inclusion of the older people.

To discourage unjust treatment of older individuals at work, the local and national government can enact policies to punish individuals or institutions that will be found guilty of discriminating an older individual. I would ensure to report every violation of such policies to the administration to ensure individuals and institutions adhere to the regulations and those who violate them face the consequences. Organizations can offer bias-prevention training programs to enlighten managers and employees on the negative effect of bias at work. To avoid ageism, hiring officers can embrace a technique that does not reveal a candidate’s age. This will give the aged population a chance to advance their careers and contribute positively towards the economy. If I were a hiring manager, I would advocate for the employment of older workers because they are more knowledgeable and experienced. Their participation, I strongly believe, would contribute greatly to the company’s productivity.

 

References

AARP. (2014). Staying ahead of the curve 2013: The AARP work and career study. AARP. Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/surveys_statistics/general/2014/Staying-Ahead-of-the-Curve-2013-The-Work-and-Career-Study-AARP-res-gen.pdf

Harper, S. (2018, Aug 20). The positive impact of an aging population. Age International. Retrieved from https://www.ageinternational.org.uk/policy-research/expert-voices/the-positive-impacts-of-an-ageing-population/

Sweetland, J., Volmert, A. & O’Neil Moira. (2017, Feb). Finding the frame: Am empirical approach to reframing aging and ageism. Frameworks Institute. Retrieved from http://frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/aging_elder_abuse/aging_research_report_final_2017.pdf

WHO. (2018, Feb 5). Ageing and health. WHO. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health