When Jimmy Carter wrote The Virtues of Aging, which I mentioned earlier, he said some people he talked with about the manuscript would say things like, “Virtues? What could possibly be good about growing old?” While it was nearly twenty years ago that Carter wrote his book, I doubt public perception has changed much for the better. Today, an anti-aging bias continues. Sadly, older adults frequently hold this bias toward themselves—and toward other elders who are their friends, loved ones, and people they generally care about. It is so much a part of our culture that we often may not notice it. It’s an unconscious bias.
Age bias can also be a tendency to regard older persons as debilitated, unworthy of attention, or unsuitable for employment (Dictionary.com, 2019). I have also heard ageism defined as a prejudice against our future self. Ouch! It is an “-ism” by which everyone who lives long enough will be affected, and it’s likely one of the few “-isms” that are still socially acceptable.
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