Please review the definitions of Adultism and Ageism and then read the different things we can do in society to combat these forms of age prejudice and discrimination. - JRR
Adultism: The systematic mistreatment of young people on the basis of their youth, including stereotyping, discrimination, negative attitudes or behaviors toward young people, and withholding respect, power, privilege, and rights of participation on the basis of age. It includes the assumption that adults are better than young people, and entitled to act upon young people without their agreement. This mistreatment is supported and reinforced by the laws, policies, norms, mores, social customs, and everyday practices of society
Ageism: The systematic mistreatment of older persons on the basis of presumed age,
including stereotyping, discrimination, negative attitudes or behaviors toward a person on the basis of their age, and loss of respect, power, privilege, and rights of participation. This mistreatment is supported and reinforced by the laws, policies, norms, mores, social customs, and everyday practices of society.
The guidelines and suggestions listed below can help inform a discussion about changes
in beliefs and practices towards young people and elders that facilitate the transformation
1. View and treat young people and elders as growing, developing humans and not as problems to be solved, and develop policies, programs, and practices that aim at developing a sense of competence: being able to do something well; a sense of usefulness: having something to contribute; a sense of belonging: being part of a community; and, a sense of power: having control over one’s future.
2. Avoid patronizing, tokenizing, or otherwise marginalizing young people and elders.
3. Involve the entire communities, including young people and elders, in creating
a continuum of services and opportunities that supports the life needs of young people and elders.
4. Involve young people and elders in meaningful decision-making about institutional
practices and policies that affect their lives, such as designing their health care environments and their learning environments.
5. Understand and act on the fact that young people and elders have the capacity
to play meaningful roles in their communities.
6. Work to ensure an equitable distribution of resources, such as health care, retirement resources, resources for educational development, and so on.
7. Value people of all ages for their experience and wisdom.