Ageism not taken seriously

Age Concern, Avondale

The United Nations has designated October 1st each year to be the “International Day of the Older Person.” It is a day for us to celebrate older people around the world and focus attention on the needs and challenges faced by many of them.

It’s also a time to acknowledge and be grateful for the huge contribution older people make to our communities - mentoring, volunteering, caring for children, sharing wisdom and experience etc. and, with many, also still being in paid work and leading businesses.

Unfortunately, ageism is one of the most tolerated forms of social prejudice in our society, failing to evoke the outcry that other ‘ism’s do. Ageism can be experienced by people

at any age and in any setting including workplaces, communities and in our

own homes, and can impact health and well-being.

It is long overdue that we change our attitudes about people of different ages

and our attitude to ageing. This will only become more important as the number of people aged 65+ in Auckland will have almost doubled by 2033.

This month, you may like to take the time to think about old age inequalities, and reflect on how we can change these stereotypes and other negative narratives involving “old age.”

We urge you to reach out and celebrate the older people in your life by spending

time with them. Talk with them, share food, celebrate the richness they bring

to your lives. If we can do this, we truly will have something to celebrate.