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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

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September 21, 2023

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Aging population subject to predjudice, stereotypes

Most people have heard about racism and sexism, but ageism not so much. Ageism is defined as negative attitudes, prejudices or stereotypes toward the aging population.

These negative attitudes can stem from many things, like actual resentment or simply because it is funny to crack jokes about old people.

Little do people know, our stereotypes towards older people directly influence the attitudes of this population, and contribute to how they age.

Many like to think they will never be a part of this aging population, but the truth is everyone gets old. As a nation, we should not fear or make fun of aging. Instead, we should embrace it.

As people age, many are lucky and age without complications. Some are not so lucky. People encounter diseases or disorders that can be debilitating in later life. Fortunately, there are some willing to help older adults with these problems. Many professions are geared to helping the older population, especially since there are so many older adults in America.

According to the U.S. Census 2010, adults ages 65 and older constitute about 13 percent of America’s total population. This number will grow rapidly as the baby boomer generation continues to get older.

It is estimated that by 2030, when we college students should be in the prime of our careers, 1 in 5 people will be age 65 or older. Even with these statistics, many people choose to avoid older adults because of their prejudices.

Working with older adults may not be the most desired or glamorous of jobs, but it has to be done. For this reason, I chose a major that will allow me to display my passion for helping old people.

I am majoring in communication sciences and disorders. Communication disorders are common in older adults. These problems make it extremely difficult for them to live a normal life. Communication disorders can occur from a stroke, traumatic brain injuries, dementia or even just deterioration of motor speech control from aging.

Communication is absolutely essential in our world and to not be able to do so is extremely frustrating and sometimes life-threatening.

As a practicing speech-language pathologist, I plan to work in an environment with the older population. For me to effectively do so, I must rid myself of stereotypes associated with old people to ensure that my treatment of these people will be beneficial.

When it comes to stereotypes, people think that old people are smelly, grumpy, unable to learn new things, decrepit and terrible drivers. The list goes on. If society continues to put these ideas in the aging populations’ heads, eventually they will believe them to be true.

This changes their overall attitude and thus makes them take on these stereotypes. Basically, if an older adult is told that they are stubborn and cannot learn new things, then their attitudes will eventually change so these negative characteristics are true.

It is like if someone continually talks down to you like you are incompetent, you will eventually begin to view yourself as dumb. We are able to change this pattern.

If society stops portraying older adults and aging in general so negatively then the attitudes of older people will change and the health, physical and mental, will increase.

If we start highlighting the good things about aging the entire attitude of the aging population will be likely to become more positive, and result in better health overall.

Stereotypes exist everywhere, whether they are negative or positive. It is up to us as a society to change the attitudes towards the groups of people associated with these stereotypes so they cease to exist.

People are so concerned with preventing aging because they fear they will become a part of these stereotypes. I hope that in the future, older adults will be looked upon more positively so everyone can live a longer, happier, healthier and more productive life.

I also hope that with my profession, I can work in a way that does not promote these stereotypes and will instead work in a way to eliminate them.

Respond to Olivia at

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