Ageism – a threat of social isolation in the old age.


Authors: K. Maršálková;  K. Schmeidler
Published in: Geriatrie a Gerontologie 2016, 5, č. 1: 44-48
Category: Review Article

Overview

Ageism (i. e., the complex and often negative social construction of old age) is highly prevalent. There is unequivocal evidence concerning the negative consequences associated with ageism at the individual, familial, and societal levels.

Faced with the challenges of an ageing population, we would like to encourage innovative solutions that transform this challenge into an opportunity by responding to the needs of older Europeans and making active ageing a reality, keeping older people healthy, independent, socially engaged and fulfilled as valued contributors to society. The European Union would like to launch this activity to tackle ageing-related issues, and thereby improve the well-being of the elderly, including high quality of life, fulfilment and social activities.

The long term goal of this action is to challenge the practice of ageism and allow older people to realize their full potential. This will be achieved by enhancing scientific knowledge and attention to ageism, by bringing together and integrating the different disciplines of research, by developing national, multi-national and international collaborations with public policy officials, non-academic professionals, civil society NGOs and older persons, and by fostering a new generation of researchers. Expected deliverables include: a) the creation of a web-site; b) a depository database of scientific measures and evidence based interventions that target ageism; c) the facilitation of scientific Training Schools, Short Term Scientific Missions and conferences; and d) the dissemination of collaborative working papers, scientific reports, proceedings, academic publications, policy and recommendation papers and an edited book on ageism. In light of the changing demographics, the high prevalence of ageism, its complex social roots, broad consequences, and the limited research on the topic, this action is timely and has both practical and scientific significance.

KEYWORDS:
ageism – ageing of the population – senior Citizen – social discrimination – old age social exclusion – social inclusion – social barriers – social stereotypes


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