Time to tackle ageism
Ageism may not be a word you are familiar with, but it does impact people of all ages within our communities, particularly older people and young people.
It is similar to other ‘-isms’ and is a prejudice expressed towards a person because of their age. For older people, it impacts confidence, quality of life, job prospects, health and control over life decisions. In its extreme, it is a factor in elder abuse.
The Municipal Association of Victoria is supporting a campaign to reduce ageism in our community. We are partnering with EveryAGE Counts for this campaign. They have been tackling ageism nationally by shifting social norms and positively influencing the way people think about ageing and older people.
Our work seeks to build on this social movement and involve all Victorian councils.
What we know is that, while most people would know that overlooking a prospective employee purely due to their age is ageist, other forms of ageism are not as obvious.
Examples that can distort our attitudes to older people include a fixation on ‘anti-ageing’ products or the preponderance of birthday cards that portray getting older in a negative light.
An opinion/editorial by MAV President, Cr David Clark, focusing on how Victorian councils are tackling ageism was recently published, see Tackling Ageism in our communities.