The national campaign against ageism, EveryAGE Counts has announced that Australia’s third Ageism Awareness Day will be on 7th October.
This is the third Ageism Awareness Day which was founded by EveryAGE Counts in Australia but which is increasingly being recognised around the world.
The day is a reminder to all Australians that ageism is still rife within the Australian community. Ageism has a direct adverse impact on the lives of many Australians in such areas as aged care, provision of health services and employment and is a major factor in the incidence of elder abuse.
A spokesperson for the EveryAGE Counts Campaign, Robert Tickner AO said, “our most recent national survey revealed some startling statistics about the incidence and impacts of ageism.
“Ageism is stereotyping, discrimination and mistreatment of people solely on the basis of age. Ageism has devastating impacts on physical and mental health, longevity, employment prospects and participation opportunities.
“The brutal reality is that separate research from the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Australian Human Resources Institute also shows that ageism is blocking older people from the workforce and that one in six organisations will not consider hiring people over 65 years of age” Robert Tickner said.
“This is one issue where we can all agree on the need for an ongoing public education program to end ageism so we can all age well”.
The EveryAGE Counts representative 2022 survey of over 1000 people over the age of 50 researched people’s experience and attitudes towards ageism.
The findings of the survey revealed that:
- 68 per cent of all over-50s agree ‘ageism against older people is a serious problem in Australia’ (73 per cent of those aged 60-69)
- 74 per cent of all over-50s believe Australia is ‘not doing enough to raise awareness of ageism and ﬁght against it’
- 58 per cent of over-50s want ‘a government campaign to raise awareness about ageism and its effects’
- People in their 60s are the most likely older Australians to have experienced ageism in the past year – 37 per cent versus 26 per cent for over-50s more generally
- 36 per cent of over-50s say ‘People have assumed I cannot understand or learn new technology’ and 50 per cent of those aged 90 and over
- 21 per cent of over-50s say “People have insisted on doing things for me that I am capable of doing on my own’ (35 per cent of over-90s)
- 28 per cent of 50-59 year olds say ‘My applications for jobs have been rejected because of my age’
- 25 per cent of those in their 50s and 25 per cent of those in their 60s say ‘I have been made to feel like I am too old for my work’
- 8 per cent of 50-59 year olds say ‘I have been denied health services or treatment because of my age,’ but that figure leaps to 20 per cent among those 90+
- 28 per cent of over-50s say ‘I have been ignored or made to feel invisible’
- 11 per cent say ‘doctors and healthcare workers talk past me to my companion or carer,’ but that figure is 27 per cent among 90+ year olds.
“Since the survey last year, the EveryAGE Counts organisation believes that, while there are some signs of improvement there is still a huge public education and awareness program needed to combat ageism in our Australian communities.” Robert said.
The EveryAGE Counts campaign also has the backing of an increasing number of Local Government Councils around Australia which are doing important work tackling ageism in their communities and who are determined to make their local council areas age friendly cities and towns.
“We believe Australia can be a global leader in tackling ageism. We look forward to working with all Governments around Australia to address these issues with a community-based campaign, Robert Tickner said.
Many organisations already have plans in place to mark Ageism Awareness Day. Because Ageism Awareness Day occurs on a Saturday (7th October) EveryAGE Counts is urging organisations and Councils to hold events in the week before or the week after this date to build community support for tackling ageism.