A new wrinkle on aging
The official definition of ageism as it relates to older adults is job discrimination against senior citizens. Research is now revealing that there is much more to this term than denying someone over 55 a position, a promotion, or firing them because of how old they are. Ageism now also includes using phrases like "baby" "honey" "sweetie" "darling" or "sugar" when addressing older adults. These words can be terms of endearment when they come from a spouse or significant other but when they are said by other family members or strangers these greetings may not be welcome.
Ageism has many forms
According to WHO (The World Health Organization), Ageism is a global problem and it can lead to physical and mental decline. Age discrimination is also associated with increased loneliness, social isolation, increased financial insecurity, an overall decrease in quality of life, and can lead to premature death. WHO reveals that " around 6.3 million cases of depression globally are estimated to be attributable to ageism" which can be considered demeaning and rude.
Referring to aging adults with stereotypes can cause embarrassment and a feeling of not being a part of regular society. This can lead to low self-esteem and confusion. Seniors desire to respect the same as younger adults and should not be made to feel embarrassed or as if they are second-class citizens. Ageism can be compounded by what is known as the widow brain which can lead to dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
Age discrimination can lead to mental and physical decline
A man or woman who is adjusting to the normal physical and mental challenges of aging and also is now alone without their life partner does not need people talking to them as if they are a child and studies now say it is very cruel. This is a recipe that can lead to depression, uncertainty, confusion a sense of hopelessness, and even death. A good rule of thumb is to consider how you would like to be treated if you were an older adult.