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Addressing ageism and stereotypes about ageing in society

Team AckoFeb 27, 2024

The concept of ageism is unfortunately quite prevalent in certain countries today. It refers to preconceived notions, or stereotypes, of older people in society. Ageism can lead to unfairness or discrimination based on a person’s age. This can have effects throughout an individual’s lifetime, from reduced opportunity due to age discrimination in the workplace to poorer healthcare options for older citizens. As the median age of people around the world continues to rise, now is the time to examine the problem of ageism in society and find solutions for improving the lives of the elderly.




What is Ageism?

Ageism is an issue mostly experienced by the elderly, and it is a type of discrimination that can occur in any ethnic, religious, or social group. It is a form of stereotyping and is often described as a form of prejudice based on the assumptions and expectations people have about the elderly. This can take many forms, whether in a form of ageism in the workplace, ageism in healthcare, or even in a form of ageism in advertising. The elderly can be exposed to negative stereotypes such as being feeble, untrustworthy, or unnecessarily dependent.

Ageism can manifest considerably differently in different parts of the world, including differences in the way one’s age is treated in different cultures. Age discrimination can range from subtle, yet still damaging discrimination to outright disrespectful language and insults. Ageism can negatively affect older people's economic and educational opportunities, their access to adequate healthcare and nutrition, and their relations with the family.

How Does Ageism Impact People’s Lives?

The effects of ageism can have a powerful impact on the elderly. Some aspects of ageism can even lead to physical and mental health problems in the older generations. This is largely due to the fact that ageism can often lead to loneliness, as well as the fact that it can discourage older generations from interacting with their friends and other members of society.

Ageism can also have an impact on the younger generation. For instance, ageism can lead to a diminished respect for the elderly, which can lead to a lack of intergenerational relationships within families and communities. This can lead to younger generations learning and modelling prejudiced views and harmful behaviours towards their elders. Moreover, ageism can lead to a lack of resources being provided for the elderly in some parts of the world, such as India and China.

How Can We Combat Ageism?

The problem of ageism can only be addressed by making changes in the way that the elderly are treated in society. This can include initiatives designed to provide more resources for the elderly, such as increased healthcare options and more access to leisure activities. Additionally, more education about the elderly needs to be provided to younger generations, in order to help combat the issues that can come from a lack of respect for older people. Finally, it is important for society to challenge any age-related stereotypes and prejudices that can exist.

Some of these solutions, from providing more resources to challenging age-related stereotypes, can be implemented by the government, while other solutions may require cultural changes. For example, the government can institute legislation to challenge age discrimination at the workplace, but additional cultural changes may be needed to make sure that the elderly are viewed with respect and treated fairly. Consequently, a community-wide effort to change the perception of the elderly should be considered.

How Can Individuals Help Fight Ageism?

Everyone has a role to play in addressing the issue of ageism. Simple everyday actions can have a powerful impact on combating ageism. For instance, people can advocate for the elderly by getting involved in campaigns that challenge age stereotypes or by standing up against age discrimination when they see it. Additionally, people can contribute to improving the lives of the elderly by volunteering with programs that provide support and activities for the elderly, and by lending a hand to their elderly neighbours and relatives.

By providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for the elderly, individuals can help to challenge the stigma surrounding ageing. Taking the time to listen, engage in conversations, and simply show kindness and respect to elders can go a long way to combat ageism in our society.


Ageism is an issue that affects many countries in the world today. The elderly have a right to age with dignity and respect, and raising awareness about the issue of ageism is the first step towards allowing that to happen. Solutions such as providing more resources for the elderly, challenging age-related stereotypes, and showing respect for the elderly can be implemented by governments and individuals alike, in order to create a more inclusive world for the elderly. By fighting against ageism, we can create a thriving and productive society for all.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions related to ageism and stereotypes about ageing in society

What is ageism?

Ageism is a form of discrimination that occurs based on age. It is a form of stereotyping and can range from subtle to overt forms of discrimination. It can also lead to physical and mental health problems in the elderly, as well as a lack of resources and respect.

What are the effects of ageism?

Ageism can lead to a number of negative effects, such as reduced economic and educational opportunities, poorer healthcare options, loneliness, a lack of intergenerational relationships, and a lack of respect for the elderly.

How can we combat ageism?

There are a number of steps that can be taken to address ageism in society, from providing more resources for the elderly to challenging age-related stereotypes. Additionally, individuals can help to fight against ageism by getting involved in campaigns and showing respect for the elderly.


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