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Combating ageism through positivity and respect of older persons

January 08, 2019  · 2 min read

People around the world are living longer, but despite this rapidly changing population demographic, global attitudes towards ageing and older people remain overwhelmingly negative, and fatalistic. Even more problematic is the evidence that highlights the role of ageism in diminishing the health and wellbeing of older people.



A recent article by CNN identifies many studies illustrating the dangers of ageism. A World Health Organization (WHO) survey from 2016 highlighted that 60% of respondents believe that older people are not respected, and this has serious implications for older people.


An Orb Media analysis showed that lower poverty and better health was common in countries that respected their older people, while a study in Ireland identified that mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are “more common among people with negative ideas about ageing.”  



According to CNN, “in 2016, WHO acknowledged the need for ageism to be globally addressed and highlighted that ageism is most likely more widespread than sexism and racism.” The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) is proud to work with the WHO and other organizations internationally in combating ageism.


Through initiatives that promote a life-course approach to health, such as adult vaccination and vision health, or in spreading awareness of the importance of age-friendly environments that promote healthy ageing, the IFA works at many levels to address systemic ageism. Additionally, through the WHO Global Campaign to Combat Ageism, the IFA maintains a critical role in advancing the work of the campaign. To learn more about the importance of combating ageism to promote healthy ageing and maintain functional ability, contact IFA Secretary General Dr Jane Barratt through ExpertFile.

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    Dr. Katherine McGilton

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    Ageism Discrimination
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    Prof. Alan J. Sinclair

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    Clinical Gerontology
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    Prof. Marie Beaulieu

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    Elder Abuse
    Human Rights
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    Prof. Maria Barcikowska

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Combating ageism through positivity and respect of older persons

January 08, 2019  · 2 min read

People around the world are living longer, but despite this rapidly changing population demographic, global attitudes towards ageing and older people remain overwhelmingly negative, and fatalistic. Even more problematic is the evidence that highlights the role of ageism in diminishing the health and wellbeing of older people.



A recent article by CNN identifies many studies illustrating the dangers of ageism. A World Health Organization (WHO) survey from 2016 highlighted that 60% of respondents believe that older people are not respected, and this has serious implications for older people.


An Orb Media analysis showed that lower poverty and better health was common in countries that respected their older people, while a study in Ireland identified that mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are “more common among people with negative ideas about ageing.”  



According to CNN, “in 2016, WHO acknowledged the need for ageism to be globally addressed and highlighted that ageism is most likely more widespread than sexism and racism.” The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) is proud to work with the WHO and other organizations internationally in combating ageism.


Through initiatives that promote a life-course approach to health, such as adult vaccination and vision health, or in spreading awareness of the importance of age-friendly environments that promote healthy ageing, the IFA works at many levels to address systemic ageism. Additionally, through the WHO Global Campaign to Combat Ageism, the IFA maintains a critical role in advancing the work of the campaign. To learn more about the importance of combating ageism to promote healthy ageing and maintain functional ability, contact IFA Secretary General Dr Jane Barratt through ExpertFile.

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