Most people think of ageism as discrimination against the elderly. Consequently, a lot of younger people do not view ageism as a problem that negatively impacts them. However, researchers at Umea University have found that such a simplistic view of ageism can be harmful, not only for the elderly, but for people of all ages. Their findings can be especially useful for family caregivers in Omaha who may be at risk of developing negative attitudes toward aging.
Why Ageism Is Harmful
Researchers have found that people who harbor negative attitudes against older people and aging in general have life spans that are 7.5 years shorter on average than people who have more positive attitudes toward the elderly. Thus, discrimination against older people not only hurts seniors, but also negatively impacts the people who discriminate against them in the long run.
Diminishing the Negative Impacts of Ageism
To reduce the negative impacts of ageism, researchers urge society to broaden its understanding of the word and act. By analyzing ageism as a form of discrimination inflicted by younger generations upon older people, researchers claim that scientists unintentionally polarize the young against the old. When we emphasize the negative effects ageism has on people of all ages, younger people can better identify with older people and thereby adopt more positive attitudes toward both the elderly and aging.
How Redefining Ageism Helps Caregivers
Omaha senior care providers may be prone to developing negative attitudes toward aging since they are continually exposed to its most challenging aspects. By developing a more positive attitude toward aging, caregivers can not only relieve the anxiety that comes from witnessing the negative aspects of aging, but can help educate others regarding the positive attributes of growing older. Such a shift in collective thinking could lead to millions of people living significantly longer and more satisfying lives during their golden years.
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