Seniors are full of knowledge, experience, and life. Unfortunately, in American culture, there’s often a stigma surrounding the elderly community. There are many factors that contribute to ageism, so it can be difficult to figure out how to stop ageism in your life. Although some factors are out of your control, there are plenty of ways you can fight any ageism among individuals in your life.
How to Stop Ageism through Your Behavior
1. Keep Up with Modern Technology
As frustrating as changing technologies can seem, trying to learn a little about the latest trends can go along way. Technology is becoming increasingly relevant in our daily lives. Tasks that were once manual, like banking and grocery shopping, are making the switch to automatic processes. Although this change can be overwhelming at first, technology can benefit your life. Technologies like cell phones can speed processes up, and they have become an integral part of emergency situations. When others see you keeping up to date with modern technology, it can help reduce ageism.
2. Stay Physically Active
Keeping active will help you maintain your independence and fight aging stereotypes. Plus, creating and participating in a regular workout routine will ensure that your body continues to function properly. Regular exercise will keep you happier and healthier, and you’ll show younger generations that it’ll take more than age to stop you from living a full life!
3. Keep Your Mind Healthy
Having a healthy and active mind will do wonders for you. It’s normal to experience some hiccups as you age, but completing mental exercises will keep your mind sharp. You’ll counteract ageism, and you’ll impress others with your quickness. For more serious mental conditions, like memory loss, you may want consider seeking additional help from medical professionals.
How to Stop Ageism through Communication
1. Tell your Story
Many of the preconceived misconceptions about seniors comes from a lack of knowledge and understanding. Take the time to talk with younger generations. Discuss the major events that happened throughout your lifetime, explain your views of the world, and share stories about your personal experiences. Younger generations will enjoy learning about your ideas and values, and it will help them appreciate how your life experiences helped form who you are today.
2. Engage with the Community
Volunteer your time to participate in community events. Whether you help out with an event at your church, offer your skills to serve a charitable cause, or teach a workshop at a community center, seek out opportunities to interact with community members. Community members will admire this altruistic behavior, and it will help to change their perceptions. Even just attending events will help combat ageism. As you spend time with younger generations, you’ll each learn more about each other which will help break the stigma. You’ll change the lives of those in need and maybe make some new friends along the way.
3. Be Optimistic and Proud
Many seniors themselves have negative feelings harbored about “old age.” Too many sulk at the thought of age, or have a generally pessimistic attitude when their age is brought up. Embrace this amazing time of your life, and remember that you’re not alone. Remembering the wonderful things that go along with your age is key. Help others understand the benefits and advantages that come with your age. If you’re negative about your own age, chances are those views will rub off on others. Instead, be positive and show your pride to younger generations to begin changing their views.
You can’t always change the opinions and attitudes of others, but following these tactics will help disprove ageist feelings. Choose the methods that work best to reduce ageism in your own life. When others see your words, actions, and attitudes actively fighting against ageism, their perceptions will begin to change. What are you doing to help stop ageism?