Ageism: Separating Facts from Myths
Generational divides seem to be getting worse as time goes on. As new technology hits the market, younger people are starting to communicate and earn a living in ways that may seem foreign to older individuals. This has led to a rise in ageism in recent years. In a recent survey of individuals older than 60, nearly 80% of respondents reported experiencing ageism, including other people assuming they had memory or physical impairments due to their age. But with more of the country’s population reaching the age of retirement, ageism can lead to damaging misconceptions about older individuals. Let’s set the record straight on ageism by separating fact from fiction.
Myth: Ageism Represents an Inevitable Decline
Many people believe that ageism is valid because older individuals are saddled with physical limitations and mental disorders that impair their ability to perform certain functions in society. This inevitable decline is true of all older individuals, rendering them effectively useless after a certain age.
Fact: Ageism Often Results from Lifestyle Choices
Yet, studies show most seniors report having no health-based limitations related to work or housework. A large portion of older individuals are in near perfect health, which means they can be just as useful, if not more so, than younger generations. Studies show any signs of ageism are largely due to lifestyle choices. If seniors stop being active, turn away from technology, or stop taking care of themselves, they may see a decline in their mental and physical abilities or may be at a disadvantage when it comes to earning a living and being productive on the job.
Myth: Older Individuals Are Less Productive
When it comes to ageism in the workplace, many believe older individuals simply aren’t as productive as younger workers. But this largely depends on the job in question and the duties and responsibilities associated with the position.
Fact: Seniors Can Be Just as Productive as Younger Generations
Yet, studies show seniors can be just as productive as their younger counterparts in a range of workplace settings. If seniors can meet the physical demands of a job, they can do just as much work in the same amount of time as their younger colleagues. In other cases, studies show seniors took longer to complete certain tasks, but these older individuals contributed just as much overall to the company as younger workers.
Myth: Most Seniors Live in Nursing Homes
We tend to associate seniors with nursing homes and assisted living facilities. As soon as a person reaches the age of retirement, we like to think they disappear from society altogether, spending their final days on a golf course, beach, or wandering around the halls of a nursing home. We also tend to believe seniors need medical assistance 24/7, thinking of them as constantly being tethered to nurses and doctors.
Fact: More Seniors Are Living at Home
But, in reality, seniors have more options than ever before when it comes to how and where they age. Studies show only 3% of seniors are currently living in a nursing home. That’s because more seniors are choosing to age at home thanks to the rise of senior telehealth programs that keep seniors in touch with healthcare providers. Seniors can use live video, remote patient monitoring tools and other digital devices to communicate with their doctor or physician in real-time. If seniors need help navigating and using this technology, they can always hire a professional to help them get acclimated with at-home healthcare. This has led to a surge in the number of seniors choosing to live at home instead of a nursing home.
Just because a person is over the age of 65 doesn’t mean they’re unproductive or they live in a nursing home. Advances in senior care are changing the way we think about aging. Learn more about the benefits of senior telehealth programs at StaySmartCare.com.