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Opinion: Understanding our attitudes about age


"Ageism Awareness Day provides an opportunity to draw attention to the existence and impact of ageism in our society," writes Lewandowski. - Pixabay


Jean Lewandowski is a retired special needs teacher. She lives in Nashua.

The American Society on Aging (ASA) will celebrate Ageism Awareness Day on October 7. Modeled after the United Nation's International Day of Older Persons (Oct. 1), Ageism Awareness Day provides an opportunity to draw attention to the existence and impact of ageism in our society.


Ageism is the most widespread and socially accepted form of prejudice. It is defined by the World Health Organization as "the stereotypes (how we think), prejudices (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age." It is so embedded in our culture that we barely notice the false characterizations and demeaning portrayals in media, the workplace discrimination, or the billions of dollars we spend on cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to avoid "signs of aging."

Our aversion is so strong that a recent NBC poll found that 12% more respondents believe facing four-score civil and criminal indictments is less concerning than being 80 years old when it comes to fitness for the presidency.





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