“She’s too old for that. Let’s just decide for her.”
We’ve heard that before. It’s the moment when someone makes a decision for you, or discounts your preferences or opinion simply because of your age. They might even have good intentions, believing they’re acting in your best interests. But that doesn’t make it right. What they’re actually doing is robbing you of your independence and choice. It’s called ageism, and it’s the most tolerated form of social prejudice in Canada.
One in four Canadians admit they’ve treated someone differently because of their age. And while most of us (87%) believe we understand what ageism means, one-quarter of Canadians aged 77 or older say people often make choices for them. As Revera’s Chief Elder Officer, Hazel McCallion, says, “Ageism is getting old. Let’s do something about it.”
So, how do you combat ageism? Partnering with the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research, we set out to discover how Canadians feel about it, which you can read in our recently released “Report on Ageism: Independence and Choice As We Age.” The report includes findings from more than 2,400 people, and is part of our Revera Innovators In Aging Program, a $20-million investment by Revera to help seniors age well — and keep their independence.
Never one to mince words, Hazel is right. It is time we do something about ageism. Because nobody should feel discriminated against based on age. Sure, our needs may evolve, but we’re still the same person inside. And that’s what it’s all about.