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It’s Ageism Awareness Day tomorrow:  Please don’t discriminate or abuse people over 50

DCM Institute is 100% behind Ageism Awareness Day, which is tomorrow, and supports all moves to end the abuse and discrimination of people aged over 50.

“Ageism is not some hollow empty trendy word, and there was hard evidence that stereotyping and discrimination against older people was damaging to the health and well-being of older Australians in many areas,” said Co-Chair of EveryAGE Counts Robert Tickner, the former Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and the former Australian Red Cross CEO.

“It often starts when people, in their earlier fifties, are denied jobs or promotions. Later on in life it is often a root cause and contributor to elder abuse and the mistreatment in aged care exposed by the Aged Care Royal Commission.

“The statistics on unemployment of people over 50 are very revealing. 20 years ago, 1 in 20 people who were unemployed were between 50 and 65 but now that figure has doubled to 1 in 10, and worse, these people make up a much larger group among the long-term unemployed.

“All of us, if we live into our fifties or older will be impacted by ageism and that is one of the reasons we support intergenerational solidarity. Older Australians like the rest of the community want to be treated as individuals and not treated differently simply because they are older.

“There are so many false assumptions about older people which strip them of their agency and right to control their own lives, as our survey also revealed. Things like false assumptions about the inevitability of dementia as we age, lack of capacity of older people in the workforce when many want to, and are capable of, working, and false assumptions about needing help when many want to be self-reliant. Too often older people are talked down to in the community and in health care which further strips them of their autonomy and dignity.

“Sure some older people may need support but the bottom line is that it is best to see older people as individuals and not make generalised assumptions or gratuitous, thoughtless and offensive jokes about their age.”

EveryAGE Counts’ website houses “The Real Old” which is a myth busting publication blowing false stereotypes about ageing out of the water. It is highly recommended.

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