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Ageism Education Class



Kimmel (1988) has defined ageism as the use of age as the basis for prejudicial attitudes, discriminatory practices, and institutional policies. Butler (1993), who coined the term, states that ageism is a systematic stereotyping of and discrimination against people because they are old that is visible on both institutional and individual levels. Although the role of ageism differs greatly in different cultures and societies, Kimmel states that psychological research has documented the existence of substantial ageism in the United States.

Moreover, Craft (1993) has stated that the problem is of global proportions. For example, in Austria, older people face discrimination in insurance, health care, housing, public facilities and the media. In Hong, Kong, limited space and the breakup of families into much smaller units has drastically curtailed communication between young and old and industrialization has undermined the value of the experience and skills of the elderly. In Israel, discrimination against older people in the workplace is said to be growing dramatically.

Nor is ageism restricted solely to the misperceptions of young people. According to McEwen (1990), older people themselves believe some of the negative, age-based misconceptions held by the larger society.

The Problem in the Health Care Work Setting

There is ample evidence that health care providers such as nurses are not immune to ageism, an unfortunately fact that places in jeopardy the quality of care received by the elderly.

Reed, Beall and Baumhover (1992), found evidence of ageism in their examination of knowledge about aging, attitudes toward the elderly, and perceived barriers to gerontological education among graduate students in nursing and social work. Participants in the study were aged 2150 years (mean age 33.9 years).

Twenty-seven ma...

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Ageism Education Class. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:13, February 22, 2017, from