As people grow older, an increasing number of judgments can be made about them based solely on their age. If you are forgetful when you are 30, people laugh and say it happens to everyone. If you are forgetful at age 60, you are suddenly losing it and going downhill. How is that reasonable?
Self-awareness is key. If you find yourself making an assumption about a member of the senior community, correct yourself. Treat them with respect and fairness. Here are a few stereotypes that many younger generations often apply to their elders:
- Trouble Driving: When people are out on the road and spot a slow driver, they are quick to call them old. Many people of all ages are careful, cautious drivers, so that stereotype is incorrect.
- Incompetent with Technology: It is easy to assume that an older adult will not be able to navigate technology. But in fact, seniors can be quite savvy with technology. Be careful not to judge a whole group based on a few.
- Hard of Hearing: Sadly, people wrongly assume that seniors cannot hear, and can say rude and disrespectful things in front of them. The victim is left to pretend that they didn’t pick up on it. As you can imagine, it can be very isolating to be on the receiving end of this behavior.
- Not Athletic or Active: Just because someone is growing older doesn’t mean they can’t exercise and keep an active lifestyle. Many seniors find great joy in daily exercise, such as walking, tennis, golf, jogging, swimming, and more. Take care in considering that aging adults have varying levels of mobility, similar to every age group.
Remember that everyone has feelings. Learn to speak respectfully whether the person can overhear you or not. And don’t make assumptions based on age discrimination. Not only is it wrong, it can be unkind.
Our team at Senior Safe and Sound is here to help seniors, with a focus on preventing senior abuse and fraud. For information and support, contact us by email at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.