Deb Taylor is CEO of the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Senior Community Services (www.seniorcommunity.org) and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for older adults and helps seniors and caregivers maintain their independence through free or low-cost services.

Ageism:

Why is it so Difficult to Value the Elderly?


February 2015

BY DEB TAYLOR

We frequently hear about racism and sexism in our culture, but we hear little about another persistent ‘ism’: ageism.  As our society grows older, due to the large number of retiring baby boomers, ageism remains a growing challenge and concern.

Researchers at Yale University were disturbed when they compiled negative comments about older adults that were posted by young people on Facebook. Elders’ mobility and debilitation accounted for three-quarters of the comments. Here are a few examples: ‘”Old people are a pain in the (expletive).”  “They are a burden on society.” “They are cheap and smell of (expletive)…they are senile, they complain about everything, they couldn’t hear a dump truck…,”‘ according to the Yale study.

A study by Duke University researchers found that 80 percent of seniors had experienced ageism in the form of comments about memory or physical impairments. Nearly one-third of the respondents reported being ignored or not taken seriously because of their age. An AARP survey found that 64 percent of seniors have witnessed or experienced age-based discrimination on the job.

These negative stereotypes are quite literally hurtful. Yale psychologist Becca Levy, PhD found that older adults with more positive self-perceptions of aging lived nearly eight years longer, and enjoy better memory and balance, compared to those with negative self-perceptions.

Here’s the reality; the vast majority of seniors are largely self-sufficient, (more…)

Alexander Cain is a young professional working as a bankruptcy auditor in Los Angeles. He’s currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

The Manliest Feminist
The Day That I Learned Gender Inequality Truly Does Exist


February 2015

BY ALEXANDER CAIN

Until recently, I didn’t consider myself a feminist in any regard.

I had the same impression of feminism as many guys have today: I pictured an angry woman who refused to shave her armpits and replaced every masculine word with a feminine word in order to destroy the male chauvinistic vocabulary that was created during a time when women weren’t allowed to share their input. For example, when I would hear women refer to history as   “herstory,” I’d snidely remark, “Way to fight the power!”

We all hear the stats: women make 77 cents to every dollar a man earns, women are less likely to be elected and chosen for leadership positions–and the whole ideology (more…)