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This is a Position Statement developed by EveryAGE Counts in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic
In the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen the surfacing of some deep-seated ageist attitudes toward older people on a number of fronts that need to be acknowledged and addressed.
Start talking about the prevalence of ageism across our society and pretty soon someone will comment that we could learn a lot from other cultures and communities where 'older people are respected'. While it is true that some cultures have very strong traditions of respect for and inclusion of older citizens, it is not the case that ageism doesn't exist at all. Just like in western cultures, awareness and experience of ageism can vary significantly and there are many factors that influence it. We collaborated with the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils (FECCA) to learn more about ageism in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
EveryAGE Counts has called on the Royal Commission to explicitly acknowledge and address ageism in a process of redesign of the aged care system. Failing to do so, we believe, will be largely ‘tinkering at the edges but leaving the foundations in place’.
“In so doing, the ongoing impact of ageism will continue to sabotage improvements and change in aged care and undermine quality of life for older Australians,” we have told the Commissioners.
The EveryAGE Counts campaign has been nothing if not ambitious in its mission to shift negative social norms about ageing and older people and put an end to ageism in Australia. We had high aspirations for our national speaker tour last month with US author and anti-ageism activist, Ashton Applewhite and we weren't disappointed. In fact, we think November 2019 will be remembered as a pivotal tipping point in Australia’s consciousness of the issue of ageism.Read more
The EveryAGE Counts campaign is very excited to host the 2019 Australian speaking tour of US anti-ageism campaigner, Ashton Applewhite. Ashton is the author of This Chair Rocks – A Manifesto Against Ageism, and is an activist on a mission to raise awareness of our age bias – between our ears and in the world around us – and to make age a criterion for diversity.Read more
You may not be aware of it, but many of us are inherently ageist in the the way we communicate with older people. Ironically, it is especially when we want to help. We can absolutely help people without being ageist. But first we must learn to ask the right questions, and listen rather than tell, says Lindsay Tighe.Read more
Maybe we’re being a bit pre-emptive here, but we’re very excited to be announcing that we are organising a national tour of US author and activist against ageism Ashton Applewhite this coming November.Read more
While there are some positive improvements since the previous 2014 report, the Employing Older Workers report from 2018 shows that more needs to be done to tackle unacceptable attitudes to mature workers, based purely on age, in the workforce and beyond.Read more
When academic and seasoned traveller and hiker, Bill Metcalf found that his travel insurance costs had doubled - just because he’d turned 70 - he wanted to know why. More than two years after commencing a legal dispute with his global travel insurance agent over age discrimination, he has celebrated at least a partial victory. His story has lessons for all of us, as Dr Anne Ring explains in this first of a three-part article on the case.
Above: Bill Metcalf atop Mt. Kailash in remote, far western Tibet - a sacred site for four religions including Hinduism and Buddhism and billions of people.Read more