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Ageism

Ageism is a form of discrimination and prejudice, particularly experienced by seniors. Most seniors are mentally and physically active regardless of age with a great deal to contribute. However, societal norms marginalize seniors, treat them with disrespect, make them feel unwelcome and otherwise generalize as if they were all the same.

For example:  

  • Late night comedians and talk show hosts joke about seniors and memory loss;
  • Doctors often talk past the senior patient to an adult child as if the senior wasn’t even in the room;
  • Younger adults mock seniors for being “slow”;
  • Commercial advertisements depict seniors as out of date, and lacking knowledge about modern culture and new technologies;
  • Certain laws and regulations are paternalistic towards seniors and limit their choices. 

Ageism robs seniors of choice, independence, dignity and negatively impacts their quality of life.  ALFA seeks to illuminate discriminatory practices that adversely affect seniors’ lives, illuminate prejudicial attitudes toward the aging process, and institutional practices that perpetuate stereotypes about seniors. ALFA aligns and supports programs that break traditional notions of aging. In 2011, the 2011 Short Film Competition, the Senior Living Art Showcase and a partnership with the Age of Champions documentary underscored our commitment to speaking out against ageism. In 2012, the 2012 Short Film Competition and the 2012 Senior Living Art Showcase continued ALFA's efforts to combat negative age-based stereotypes.


2013 Initiatives Against Ageism

Society’s views toward aging have come a long way as the average age of the population increases, but not far enough. Paternalistic and condescending attitudes about seniors still prevail in many places and result in ageism and elder abuse. ALFA, representing senior living providers and the seniors and families they serve, is a leading voice in the fight against ageism in America. ALFA’s goal is to illuminate discriminatory practices that adversely affect seniors’ lives, illuminate prejudicial attitudes toward the aging process, and institutional practices that perpetuate stereotypes about seniors. In 2013, ALFA will continue identifying opportunities to throw ageist prejudices on their head.

 

Ageism in the News

8/19/2014
Active & Engaged Seniors, Ageism, Disabilities, Health and Wellness, Memory Care Best Practices and Research
It was a man named Henry, confined to a wheelchair, slumping and inactive that changed Michael Rossato-Bennett’s life, and in turn the lives of many o...
8/13/2014
Ageism, Elder Abuse, Facts and Figures, Federal Agency Activity
The IRS released a warning this week about phone scams after receiving numerous complaints from taxpayers who have received unsolicited calls from ind...
8/5/2014
Ageism, Elder Abuse, Risk Management
Democratic Reps. Gerald Connolly of Virginia and Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania in a recent opinion piece made a push for legislation they introduced...
7/9/2014
Ageism, Elder Abuse, Federal Agency Activity, Health and Wellness
Anti elder abuse advocates released a new framework this week for addressing challenges to elder abuse prevention and prosecution.
6/11/2014
Ageism, cheatsheet, Disabilities, Elder Abuse, Health and Wellness, Managed Risk, Policy in the States
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has signed into law new measures revising the state’s system for criminal background checks and makes significant changes f...
6/11/2014
Ageism, cheatsheet, Elder Abuse, Webinars
ALFA will be hosting a webinar this month featuring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to discuss how to protect older Americans from financial ...
6/3/2014
Ageism, cheatsheet, Elder Abuse, End of Life
Federal, state and local government agencies, private health care and social service providers along with academia all lack basic information about el...
5/22/2014
AARP volunteers across the nation are flocking to Capitol Hill this week with a mission to fight ageism and to encourage Congress to pass a bill chang...
5/14/2014
Ageism, cheatsheet, Core Principles, Elder Abuse
There are many faces of elder abuse and ALFA encourages senior living communities to raise even more awareness of this devastating issue throughout Ju...
5/6/2014
Ageism, Elder Abuse, Hearings
The Senate Special Committee on Aging took a look at the perils of the precious metals market in a recent hearing, examining how scammers target the n...
4/22/2014
Ageism, Elder Abuse, Family Relations, Hearings
The Senate Special Committee on Aging is investigating whether consumers are being misled by deceptive sweepstakes promotions from Publishers Clearing...
4/8/2014
Active & Engaged Seniors, Ageism, Family Relations, Health and Wellness, Resident Engagement
May is Older Americans Month recognizing older Americans for their contributions and to provide them with information to help them stay healthy and ac...
2/26/2014
Ageism, cheatsheet, Consumer Intelligence, Facts and Figures, Growth Strategies, Human Resources, Reports, Staffing
The United States is ill prepared to meet current and future workforce needs for its aging adult population, according to the Eldercare Workforce Alli...
2/19/2014
Ageism, Facts and Figures, Hearings
The Senate Special Committee on Aging held a joint hearing with the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee focusing on entrepreneurism and olde...
10/29/2013
Ageism, Elder Abuse, Legislation
A group of federal regulatory bodies has issued a new set of guidelines to help curb financial exploitation of older adults by allowing financial inst...
10/15/2013
Ageism, Consumer Intelligence, Facts and Figures, Reports, Research, Resident and Family Services
A new survey reveals the financial impact the Great Recession has had on the Baby Boomer generation. 47 percent of working adults surveyed said they n...
10/2/2013
A new study has found that although the ability to learn naturally decreases with age, experience accumulated over a lifetime allows most older adults...
10/1/2013
ALFA’s elder abuse awareness efforts bring much-needed attention and education to a troubling issue. Under the banner “Older Is Wiser,” ALFA engaged i...
9/4/2013
California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 381, which allows courts to award attorney’s fees and costs to seniors who have been vic...
9/4/2013
A new report released by the Alzheimer’s Society has revealed that many older adults with dementia are increasingly feeling isolated from the rest of ...
7/16/2013
Active & Engaged Seniors, Ageism, Clinical Quality and Quality Care Delivery, Community Awareness and Education, End of Life, Facts and Figures, Health and Wellness, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, Reports, Research
A large Danish study of nonagenarians finds that people born in 1915 not only lived longer than those born a decade earlier, but they also retained a ...
7/2/2013
Those who work in care settings, have a unique opportunity to pick up on cues, elder advocates say, in the detection of abuse cases, with the Assisted...
6/18/2013
Active & Engaged Seniors, Ageism, Community Awareness and Education, Core Principles, Elder Abuse, Family Relations, Resident and Family Services, Resident Engagement
In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Emeritus at Lake Ridge fought ageism by showcasing examples of the variety of skills and talents that mak...
6/18/2013
The Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services has released an updated version of its National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. ...
4/24/2013
Negative age-based stereotypes have become a major issue in the United States, and ageism will become and even bigger issue as the number of older adu...
4/3/2013
Active & Engaged Seniors, Ageism, Community Awareness and Education, Public Policy, Resident Engagement
Each year since 1963, May has been a month to appreciate and celebrate the vitality and aspirations of older adults and their contributions to our com...
3/12/2013
Ageism, Business, Community Awareness and Education, Elder Abuse, Human Resources, Human Resources and Organizational Development, Organizational Culture, Professional Development, Reports, Research, Staffing & Performance
Seniors face negative age-based stereotypes in a variety of settings, and the workplace is an area where ageist views can negatively impact older adul...
11/28/2012
New research finds that seniors who view aging positively are much more likely to recover from disabilities that limit their ability to perform activi...
11/19/2012
Ageism, Community Awareness and Education, Elder Abuse, Federal Agency Activity, Reports, Research
The General Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, issued a report late last week exploring elder abuse in the United Stat...
11/14/2012
Ageism, Community Awareness and Education, Family Relations, Research
A new study finds that whether or not seniors are viewed as “old” is often determined by whether they adhere to stereotypical habits of older adults. ...



Contact Information:

Maribeth Bersani, Assisted Living Federation of AmericaMaribeth Bersani LinkedIn icon
Interim CEO & SVP of Public Policy
703-562-1180
mbersani@alfa.org


Paul Williams, Assisted Living Federation of AmericaPaul Williams, CAE, IOM LinkedIn icon
Senior Director of Government Relations
703-562-1183
pwilliams@alfa.org




CORE Principles
ALFA's Core Principles

ALFA’s Core Principles, promulgated and approved by the ALFA's Board of Directors, are used to guide ALFA’s efforts in shaping public policy. These principles encourage consumer choice, quality care and accessibility for all Americans needing assistance with long-term care.

Read Principles

ADVOCACY Fly-In

SAVE THE DATE for the ALFA Advocacy Fly-In, September 17-18, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

The ALFA Advocacy Fly-In is the premier public policy event for ALFA. Open to ALFA members only, this two day event brings together top advocates from across the country to Washington, DC to advocate for the principles of choice, independence, and quality of life for seniors.

Advocacy never ends. It is a constant endeavor. And your presence in these meetings is paramount to our advocacy efforts. You are the voice of senior living. You are the most effective advocates in the best interests of resident-centered care. Become an advocate!

QUESTIONS to Ask
assisted living questions

Certain situations and signs may indicate it might be time to consider alternative living arrangements. Generally speaking, families and seniors begin to consider alternatives when it becomes difficult for the elderly family member to carry on important activities of daily living without significant support and assistance from others.

Whether your needs are immediate or long-term, planning for senior living can seem daunting. Making the Right Choice Involves asking the right questions. Learn more about what to ask when considering senior living.