Stereotyping The Elderly

1985 Words8 Pages
Developmental Psychology

Expository Essay

Stereotyping of the Elderly

I want to start by asking you to close your eyes for a moment and imagine an elderly man or woman in between the ages of 80 to 90. What did you see? Was it a little old person, possibly in a nursing home walking with a cane, was their back curved?
Whether we think about it or not many of us have stereotypes the elderly. Old people, they smell bad, they shouldn’t be driving, they all end up in nursing homes or being taken care of by family, the elderly can’t work and they need to be taken care of, they all have or acquire dementia, they don’t have a sex life or intimate relationships anymore and the list can go on. I myself am guilty of many of these stereotypes,
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Ageism is one form of discrimination against age; it affects the young and old. The term ageism was named by Robert Neil Butler in 1969 and was coined to describe the discrimination against the elderly and modeled after sexism and racism. One obstacle that older people face is that they are not given an equal chance for paid employment. In corporate downsizings and mergers, the first to go are the older workers, even though it is now illegal to force retirement. In job seeking, older workers are viewed as posing liabilities, it is also a concern that they won’t know how to work the new office equipment such as computers or that their experience in the workplace is just too outdated. Between 2007 and 2010, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, saw a 17 percent increase in the number of age discrimination complaints. There are laws which protect discrimination in the workplace and just like any other prejudice there are laws that protect the elderly from discrimination. According to the Department of Labor, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, or ADEA, contains the most important regulations protecting older…show more content…
According to (Angela M., 2009) in 2011, the first wave of boomers will turn 65. By the year 2030, all 78 million will have done the same—almost double the number of people this age and older in 2005, according to “Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce,” a recent report by the Institute of Medicine. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of social and health care workers is expected to increase by 22% from 2006 to 2016, which is well above the average growth for all occupations. Also, to my surprise while thinking that all of our aging population ends up in nursing homes it would only logically conclude that the only jobs to be gained with the aging public would be in a nursing home. So false! There are jobs to fit every different skill set of Human Services, Social Work, or Gerontology. People who wish to work with our older population can work in prisons, hospitals, law offices, advertising and marketing, or as a life coach and again the list is
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