WellBeing

Age gratefully

We live in a time where there are more elderly people living longer than ever before. In fact, by 2050 the number of people aged 60 years and older is expected to double, predict ed to reach two billion. Yet, remarkably, our attitude towards ageing and the aged has never been more dismissive and destructive than it is in the modern day.

For instance, a study conducted at the University of California found “robust evidence of age discrimination in hiring against older women.” Research conducted in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom suggests that up to 9 per cent of elderly folk suffer from abject loneliness and social isolation, with more than one-third suffering from occasional loneliness or perceived “invisibility”. As many as 60 per cent of respondents in a World Values Survey believe the elderly are not respected. This ageism can include depicting older people as frail, dependent or out of touch in the media.

When faced with these societal expectations and norms, it can be easy to dread the thought of growing older; to resist the natural process of life and push back against the inevitable consequences of ageing. However, as easy as it may be to succumb

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