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Ageism In America - Don't Just Take My Word.

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  • Ageism In America - Don't Just Take My Word.

    Should be required reading for every "boomer" and older person on this forum as well as anyone with older parents or grandparents or friends. And why sneering, demeaning "jokes" & comments about older people's mental capacities are serious forms of discrimination and should not be condoned.

    New Report Details Discrimination of Older Adults in lace w:st="on">United Stateslace>>>
    lace w:st="on">International Longevity Centerlace> Publishes Report Cards on Ageism
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    Dec. 19, 2005 - Ageism, or discriminating against people purely on the basis of their chronological age, is deeply embedded and widespread in American society says the International Longevity Center-USA (ILC-USA). In a new "ground-breaking report," Ageism in lace w:st="on">Americalace>, the ILC-USA documents the innate prejudices held against older Americans.
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    As a preview to the completed report, to be issued in February 2006, the ILC-USA has released seven report cards highlighting several categories in which age discrimination is strikingly evident in the lace w:st="on">United Stateslace>. The ILC-USA prepared this report for White House Conference on Aging, "in the hopes to bring attention to the extent in which ageism exists in lace w:st="on">Americalace>."
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    "As we age, we crave the same respect and consideration that we garnered in our adult years," says Dr. Robert N. Butler. "We must work together-as a society-to promote positive attitudes and portrayals of older people. We must not fail to respect and protect the rights of older people."
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    Dr. Butler, president and CEO of the ILC-USA, first coined the term “ageism” in 1968 when he was chairman of the Washington D.C. Advisory Committee on Aging.
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    The report cards in Ageism in lace w:st="on">Americalace>:
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    Elder Abuse >>
    1 million to 3 million Americans 65+ have been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depend for care or protection. >>
    Estimates of the frequency of elder abuse range from 2 percent to 10 percent. >>
    Only 1 out of 14 incidents of elder abuse, excluding incidents of self-neglect, come to the attention of authorities. >>
    Only 21 percent of states (38.%) report that they maintain an abuse registry/ database. >>
    Only 4 percent of financial elder abuse cases are reported. Many of these cases involve scams by unscrupulous salesmen and marketers. It is estimated that each year 5 million older Americans are victims. >>
    It is estimated that for every one case of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect reported to authorities, about five more go unreported. >>
    Of the total $1 billion NIA budget, only $1 million goes to NIA Elder Abuse and Neglect Research Funding. >>
    An early look at the President’s FY 2006 budget shows a freeze in funding levels for some of the major existing programs that provide funding for elder abuse prevention and adult protective services.
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    Healthcare Discrimination >>
    Patients over 65 typically get less aggressive treatment for cancer than younger patients. >>
    35 percent of doctors erroneously consider an increase in blood pressure a normal process of aging, according to a survey published in the Journals of Gerontology. >>
    60 percent of adults over 65 do not receive recommended preventive services, including screening for common cancers, and 40 percent do not receive vaccines for flu and pneumonia. They receive even less preventive care for high blood pressure and cholesterol. >>
    Only 10 percent of people aged 65 and above receive the appropriate screenings for bone mass, colorectal and prostate cancer and glaucoma. >>
    Older Americans are the biggest users of prescription drugs, yet 40 percent of clinical trials between 1991 and 2000 excluded people over 75 from participating. >>
    While 20 percent of the 65+ have mental illness, mental health care focuses mainly on young people.
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    Discrimination in Nursing Homes >>
    1. million women and men are housed in 17,000 nursing homes nationwide. >>
    54 percent of nursing homes fall below minimum standards. >>
    Only 0. percent of nursing homes nationwide are cited and penalized for patterns of widespread problems that cause harm to residents. >>
    9 out of 10 nursing homes are inadequately staffed. >>
    It would take $7. billion a year, an 8 percent increase over current spending, to reach adequate staffing levels. >>
    Nursing homes need 77,000 – 137,000 registered nurses, 22,000 – 27,000 licensed practical nurses, and 181,000 – 310,000 nurse’s aides to reach recommended staffing levels. >>
    The Bush Administration (1990- ) has said that it wants to publish data on the number of workers at each nursing home in the hope that “nurse staffing levels may simply increase due to the market demand created by an informed public.”
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    Discrimination in Emergency Services >>
    60 percent of victims identified from Hurricane Katrina were age 61 or older. >>
    More than 215 bodies out of 1,048 recovered statewide in lace w:st="on">Louisianalace> after Hurricane Katrina were found in or around hospitals and nursing homes, according to a state report. >>
    Within 24 hours following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, animal advocates were on the scene rescuing pets, yet abandoned older and disabled people waited for up to seven days for an ad hoc medical team to rescue them. >>
    Heat wave-related hyperthermia kills about 400 people each year in the lace w:st="on">U.S.lace>. About 80 percent of victims are over age 50. Of the 465 heat-related deaths in lace w:st="on">Chicagolace>’s 1995 heat wave, 51 percent were 75 years old or older. The median age was 75 years, the mean age 72 years. The median age of the 197 heat-related deaths during lace w:st="on">Milwaukee, Wisconsinlace>’s 1995 heat wave was 76 years. The socially isolated, homebound, mentally or physically ill are also at higher risk of weather-related hyperthermia. Emergency preparedness measures need to be in place in the event of a heat wave.
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    Workplace Discrimination >>
    The National General Social Survey and the Quality of Employment Survey reports discrimination due to age increased from 6. percent to 8. percent for workers overall, and from 11. percent to 16. percent for workers 65 years and older from 1977-2002. >>
    In 2004, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that employers can deny health benefits to retirees at age 65 without violating age discrimination laws. >>
    Because age discrimination cases are hard to prove, only 1 in 7 EEOC age cases are settled to the complainant’s benefit. >>
    To improve job prospects, 63 percent of applicants say they would leave dates off their resume to hide their age and 18 percent say they would get plastic surgery. >>
    About 10 percent of some 17,800 age-discrimination claims filed last year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission were related to hiring. >>
    State and local government workers are exempt from the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act. >>
    The per-participant administrative costs of defined-contribution pension plans (such as 401(k) plans) are as much as 14 times more for the smallest firms than for their largest counterparts. >>
    In 2004, 192 pension plans were terminated due to underfunding. >>
    The amount of underfunding in corporate pension plans currently totals $450 billion and the amount of underfunding in government pension plans is $300 billion.
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    Discrimination in the Media >>
    Less than 2% of primetime television characters are age 65 or older, although this group comprises 12.% of the population. >>
    Middle-aged and older white male writers have joined women and minorities on the sidelines, as white men under 40 get most of the jobs writing for lace w:st="on">Hollywoodlace>’s television and film industry. In both feature film and television, older writers have seen their employment and earnings prospects decline relative to the opportunities available to younger writers. >>
    Advertising-media activity is largely based on age. >>
    Ageist Gender Inequality >>
    11% of men characters on television between 50 and 64 are categorized as “old”, versus 22% of women characters. >>
    75% of male characters on television 65 and older are characterized as “old”, versus 83% of women characters 65 and older. >>
    Only one-third of older characters in prime time television are women. >>
    According to one study, approximately 70 percent of older men and more than 80 percent of older women seen on television are portrayed disrespectfully, treated with little, if any, courtesy and often looked at as “bad.”40 >>
    The Screen Actors Guild reported in 2003 that in the age bracket of 40 and older, 38 percent of men and 22 percent of women were given lead roles on television. In supporting roles, 40 percent of men and 31 percent of women over 40 were given roles. Overall, only 27 percent of women and 39 percent of men over 40 were given television roles. >>
    Although Americans who are 40 and over comprise 42 percent of the American population, more than twice as many roles are cast with actors who are under the age of 40 than actors who are 40 or older.
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    Discrimination in Marketing >>
    Marketing/advertising, even when directed to older persons, is not sensitive to their vision and hearing limitations (small font, many colors, little color contrast; on the phone, speaking too quickly, etc.). >>
    The “anti-aging” industry perpetuates a culture that views aging and the aging process as negative and undesirable. The lace w:st="on">U.S.lace> market for anti-aging products and services in 2004 grew to $45. + billion. Growing at an annual rate of 9.%, this market will reach nearly $72 billion by 2009. >>
    An estimated $27 billion or more is spent on supplements and 60% of these consumers are older Americans. >>
    The dietary supplement industry is largely self-regulated; there are no laws that require supplements to undergo pre-market approval for safety and efficacy. >>
    Manufacturers of supplements are not required to register with a government agency. >>
    Dietary supplements marketed as anti-aging therapies may pose a potential for physical harm to older persons, especially to those with underlying diseases or health conditions that make the use of the product medically inadvisable or supplements that interact with medications that are being taken concurrently. >>
    Older men and women spend millions of dollars on unproven or poorly manufactured products. >>
    In an investigation into 20 of these types of companies, the FTC estimated $1. million per each company in sales of unproven or poorly manufactured products >>
    FTC and FDA have educational materials to combat fraud, but enforcement is lax. >>
    FDA has not initiated any administrative rulemaking activities to remove from the market certain substances that its analysis suggest pose health risks, but has sought voluntary restrictions and attempted to warn consumers. >>
    In 2001, Advertising Age magazine concluded that of $8 billion spent in television marketing, 55% targeted the 18-to-49 group. The remainder went to children (under 18) and adults 25-to-54. Those 55+ were excluded. >>
    In the “appearance category” of the anti-aging industry target groups start at individuals over 35 years old. >>
    People 50+ control 50% of the total discretionary income in the lace w:st="on">United Stateslace> ($1.+ trillion), with 70% of all financial assets,49 but are targeted by less than 10 percent of marketing messages. >>
    According to a 1995 survey by American Demographics, the average corporate advertising representative is thirty-one, and the average advertising agency account executive is twenty-eight. >>
    Scams involving Internet auctions, as well as identity theft, lotteries, prizes and sweepstakes, top the list of fraud complaints by older Americans, who lost $152 million to con artists in 2004, according to lace w:st="on">U.S.lace> officials at a Senate panel hearing. >>
    The Federal Trade Commission reports that internet-based scams account for about 41% of fraud complaints among people over 50. Other popular scams involve criminals requesting bank account information in order to verify and adjust Social Security and Medicare benefits.
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    About Source:>>
    The International Longevity Center-USA is a research policy organization in New York City and has sister centers in Europe, Asia, Latin America and lace w:st="on">Africalace>. Led by Dr. Robert N. Butler, a world renowned physician specializing in geriatrics, the Center is a non-for-profit, non-partisan organization with a staff of economists, medical and health researchers, demographers and others who study the impact of population aging on society. The ILC-USA focuses on combating ageism, healthy aging, productive engagement and the financing of old age. The ILC-USA is an independent affiliate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and is incorporated as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. More information on the ILC-USA can be found at www.ilcusa.org>>

  • #2
    Who's left?

    If we can't joke about old folks, who's left to laugh about? It's no longer polite to tell ethnic jokes, or jokes about women, or nearly anybody else. If aging jokes become politically incorrect, how will we ever laugh again?

    Having said that, this is indeed a serious topic for a rapidly aging population. Yesterday I sat in on a presentation about how organ transplants save lives. It's a wonderful medical advance, but I kept thinking about the social implications for retirements plans, Social Security, and Medicare as people live longer and longer.

    How indeed will we provide the necessary care for many millions of people in their 80s, 90s, and 100s, and get that care up to an appropriate level of quality?

    Thanks for an informative article.

    Comment


    • #3
      I donno, don't you think Logan's Run had it right?

      Qikdraw

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by luvnaturism View Post
        If we can't joke about old folks, who's left to laugh about? It's no longer polite to tell ethnic jokes, or jokes about women, or nearly anybody else. If aging jokes become politically incorrect, how will we ever laugh again?

        Having said that, this is indeed a serious topic for a rapidly aging population. Yesterday I sat in on a presentation about how organ transplants save lives. It's a wonderful medical advance, but I kept thinking about the social implications for retirements plans, Social Security, and Medicare as people live longer and longer.

        How indeed will we provide the necessary care for many millions of people in their 80s, 90s, and 100s, and get that care up to an appropriate level of quality?

        Thanks for an informative article.
        The REAL problem is that far too many people treat the elderly as individuals with some sort of disease ie old age and shun and ignore them as a result. I live in an area full of elderly people and absolutely refuse to stop talking with them or joking with them about anything and everything (including their age). As a result, we joke about many, many things. Life is far too short to be serious all of the time. As some of the elderly tell me..........they have earned the right to no longer be politically correct and joke with me as much as I joke with them. Even with all of the medical problems that some of them have, they have told me many times that they certainly would rather die laughing then die behaving like sour, old prunes. They have accepted aging as a natural process and refuse to be overly sensitive to it, give in to it, or abuse others because of it.
        Sanslines
        Supreme Member
        Last edited by Sanslines; 04-28-2008, 12:20 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sanslines, you obviously know some great elder citizens. My theory of aging is that the older we get the more we become what we always were. So people who were narrow, bigoted, unpleasant people when they were younger become people who are avoided by anyone who doesn't have to be with them. People who have always been open, generous, gracious become absolute delights and national treasures. You've obviously found some of the latter.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by usmc1 View Post
            Should be required reading for every "boomer" and older person on this forum as well as anyone with older parents or grandparents or friends. And why sneering, demeaning "jokes" & comments about older people's mental capacities are serious forms of discrimination and should not be condoned
            I agree that abuse of anyone should not be condoned. The majority of "said" abuse is happening to elderly that are not capable for caring for themselves. And I agree that is unarguably wrong.
            As far as discrimination towards elderly in other situations such as these forums it is not an epidemic, in fact not happening at all.

            I know many, many people over 60 and over 70, and NOT ONE has ever felt they were being treated poorly because of their age. Not one. In fact most of them find that they can blame everything they do on their age, and all is forgiven....boy there is a case a of a good thing goin'on

            Outside of a few rare cases, all this abuse you are speaking of is taking place in nursing homes, by caregivers, or neglect by family members that should be taking care of their elders, or by live alone elders that have not learned that they can not trust people like they used to. These cases deserve attention, and appropriate measures taken

            For you to try and propose that is happening here on this site (which you are trying to do) is not something that anyone on this forum believes is happening.

            Personally I take offense in your suggestion that that this is being condoned here on CFF.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by luvnaturism View Post
              Sanslines, you obviously know some great elder citizens. My theory of aging is that the older we get the more we become what we always were. So people who were narrow, bigoted, unpleasant people when they were younger become people who are avoided by anyone who doesn't have to be with them. People who have always been open, generous, gracious become absolute delights and national treasures. You've obviously found some of the latter.
              Luvnaturism,

              Yes I am blessed to know some real treasures. They are elderly of all races who have a tremendous amount of real wisdom to share and are happy to do so. They can share so much about what life is all about and one of the most important things that has been shared with me by many elderly is that no matter what happens in life, always keep a positive outlook. No matter what the adversity, hardship, challenge, etc, always keep positive and do the best that you can given what you have to work with. Their message is to avoid anger, hatred, bitterness and carrying grudges for they only affect those who harbor such negative emotions. Replace those emotions with inner peace, self acceptance, happiness and joy at the little things in life, and give thanks for that which we have to give simple thanks for - simple things such as good health and taking joy in being fully alive. Thanks to these many individuals, I hope to never grow into an angry, bitter, old man. Age is more about attitude then some arbitrary number.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by luvnaturism View Post
                If we can't joke about old folks, who's left to laugh about? It's no longer polite to tell ethnic jokes, or jokes about women, or nearly anybody else. If aging jokes become politically incorrect, how will we ever laugh again?

                Having said that, this is indeed a serious topic for a rapidly aging population. Yesterday I sat in on a presentation about how organ transplants save lives. It's a wonderful medical advance, but I kept thinking about the social implications for retirements plans, Social Security, and Medicare as people live longer and longer.

                How indeed will we provide the necessary care for many millions of people in their 80s, 90s, and 100s, and get that care up to an appropriate level of quality?

                Thanks for an informative article.
                You're welcome. And, I'm not trying to bust your chops, but consider this.

                "Jokes" that characterize older people as foolish, forgetful, diminished, or otherwise impaired by their age are as cruel as those sterotypical jokes about ethnic groups, gays, women, or any other group or demographic. For me it's not about PC, its about doing what's right. Yeah jokes relieve pressure, but they sometimes reinforce or give "permission" to ugliness. And, yeah, sometimes it does depend on the context and surroundings.

                Yes, older people tell jokes about themselves, to each other, and to others in the embrace of familiar settings or in a "humor" sort of venue. But, when those "jokes" are used by others, often younger persons, they often have a demeaning and uncomfortable edge to them. That edge sharpens and slices when the "joke" is inserted into disputation as a rhetorical or belittling device.

                I think these things happen because there is a lack of awareness about the issue. This thread is an attempt to raise that awareness, and I appreciate your thoughtful reply. Ageism is no laughing matter, and as the boomers come to full maturity there will be many, many changes forced on society and some very daunting challenges facing our country and our families.

                Your concerns about Medicare, Social Security and healthcare is very well placed. Add to those affordable housing, and long-term care, and accessibile transportation options. We're going to be living longer and, in most instances, will have to "age in place" because the long-term care resources just aren't there.

                And, the next wave of challenge will be for the children of the boomers--they are going to be trying to figure out how to care for aging parents with fewer resources, get their kids through college with fewer resources, plan their own retirements with few resources.

                I think you also wrote about older people becoming more pronounced versions of themselves as youths. Righto-bingo on that one. People do not mellow or go through personality change with the aging process.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by usmc1 View Post

                  Yes, older people tell jokes about themselves, to each other, and to others in the embrace of familiar settings or in a "humor" sort of venue. But, when those "jokes" are used by others, often younger persons, they often have a demeaning and uncomfortable edge to them. That edge sharpens and slices when the "joke" is inserted into disputation as a rhetorical or belittling device.
                  OR.... those statements (jokes) are misinterpreted or distorted, either intentionally or otherwise, and then subtly ( but obviously deliberately and continuously) used against someone in an attempt to openly provoke that same someone that they have an obvious grudge against by making completely false generalized claims and extrapolations about that person's character. Making false and libelous statements against a person's character is no 'game', and should never be tolerated or allowed to stand unchallenged.
                  Sanslines
                  Supreme Member
                  Last edited by Sanslines; 04-28-2008, 05:26 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK, I'm onboard as long as we can carve out a McCain exception ...

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                    • #11
                      Spoken like a true Democrat.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KirkOntario View Post
                        Spoken like a true Democrat.
                        LOL, actually I was channeling Tory ...

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                        • #13
                          At least they have nudism.

                          That's not a joke.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KirkOntario View Post
                            Spoken like a true Democrat.
                            Wow, are you trolling Kirk?

                            As for the ageism topic.....I was blessed to have several great-aunts and uncles, as well as a full set of grandparents and even a couple of great-grandparents. They had a lot of wisdom and I am grateful to have had them.

                            I aspire to be like the Irish great-aunts who were in their late eighties with their inner 20-something year olds still intact. They were great examples that aging has as much to do with attitude as health. They had every good reason to sit down and rest, osteoporosis, arthritis, bursitis, bunions etc, and that did not stop them. Keep moving!

                            I adhere to the belief that one cannot have too many grandparents!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Why IS it that we specifically hear Democrats attacking John Mccain for his age? The hypocrisy of this thread was what first struck me as amusing.

                              Comment

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