How to Fight Ageism

by Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast ===>> Senior Enthusiast!

Fight Ageism? What is that?

We should all want to learn How to Fight Ageism or, in the least, become aware!

First, let's define Ageism. There are two types of Ageism:

  • Prejudice — negative attitude towards older persons
  • Discrimination — haters who harm older persons in some way

As our society ages, with all the Boomers being seniors, we need to be aware of ageism!

Simply become Aware of Ageism -- and see what you now notice!

Aging isn't bad, but sometimes we think negatively about seniors, about ourselves, and this is ageism.

Thinking negatively about aging can be simply laughing at yourself --OR-- can push you into a dark corner…

Do you ever tell yourself: "I can't do THAT because I'm too old"?  Do you think you are too old to learn to swim, begin gardening, find new working paths, find new interests and hobbies and even Adult Coloring (my mother at 95) who now loves to color! Yes, there are likely things we really shouldn't do, but consider what you want try and work yourself there… baby step by baby step.

Sidenote: At 95, mom moved into Assisted Living with broken right hip and shoulder. She had a sling on her arm for ten weeks and had little control after it was healed. We started to color and it wasn't going well — until it did. She now eats, dresses herself, plays shuffle toss, cards, and colors and I swear much of her rehab was simply coloring. She does adult coloring with a group of ladies (me too!) and they chat a bit and praise each others works. Its great! Mom is thriving a year later (she turns 96 this month). You should see the beauty she creates today!

Do you think looking old makes you feel old and bad? Are you ashamed of your wrinkles and age spots? Yes, we want to remain as we are, but that simply won't happen. 

Aging faces are so interesting — showing the world the love, challenges, and struggles we've faced in life. That doesn't mean you let yourself go -- who cares? 

 Do what you can to remain looking actively engaged with life... but don't let a few wrinkles take away your confidence, you earned them!

Do you find yourself avoiding "old" people or talking about aging?

Do you fear nursing homes? Some people actually fear aging — this is called Gerontophobia. Defined as: morbid fear or dislike of old persons. I had never heard of this before but I bet some of you fear getting old... but is it morbid fear?

Do you read jokes about seniors? Do you laugh? I know I do as so many are so darn relatable. The aging community says we should stop the jokes, call people out on them, not really funny and only promotes ageism. Hmmm…. guess so.

Do you think feeling lonely is part of aging? No. Being alone, maybe, but not feeling lonely… in fact, it's seriously not good for you to be alone too much. I will write about that later, but we all need communication in our lives to stay mentally fit, and thus physically healthy.

Are most seniors depressed? I hope not. I will say that the majority in moms senior assisted living come to meals, but otherwise stay alone in their rooms — when companions are right outside the door with many activities daily! I do understand many are ill, with chronic issues, but getting around people helps immensely.

Do people assume you cannot hear, or see? Yeah, it happens…. but some do and others do not. If someone is shouting at you, and if you can hear them perfectly well, please tell them not all seniors have hearing issues.

Do people assume you have difficulty with phones and technology? Again, some of us do, and others don't. The problem is that technology advances so quickly — and it's difficult to keep yourself updated, but we must learn as we go or we will be left behind. Some seniors will keep updated, others simply won't but this is simply one more part of ageism to be aware of.

Do people assume you do nothing important or valuable? This might be true — we have contributed to society all our working lives and now this is our time to enjoy our own interests. However, some seniors do contribute to society as we age, or even over a lifetime.

I still contribute here on my site — whether it is important, or valuable, is in the eyes of the reader, but I continue to share anyhow. 

Did you notice (top of this page) that I am changing my self-made title of Retirement Enthusiast to SENIOR ENTHUSIAST?  It dawned on me, after this conference, that retirement (my action of retiring) was twelve years ago! I am now a Senior Enthusiast/Coach.  Woot

Do people help you when you could have done it yourself? Is this enabling us to become more needy - or is it simply a respectful gesture someone does for us? I do hope it's simply respectful as I do this every day at Assisted Living. I love helping these seniors (often neglected by family) as it puts a smile on my face, and on theirs. I can only pray those smiles bring a bit of light into their hearts.

Now, some positives on Aging
(it's not all about Fighting Ageism)! 

I can't end here without putting a positive spin on aging. Ageism happens and we will do what we can to educate others -- but there are positive aspects to aging too!

88% of seniors feel more able to be themselves. You can do whatever you care to do all day, every day. You don't need anybody's permission to express your opinions (yes, we still have them), paint what's on your heart, or act a little silly.

We earned this Bonus Time in life. Let's Be Ourselves -- UNIQUELY YOU. Dump those working clothes and Be WHOEVER YOU ARE!

Personally, I love being unique. I dressed relatively conservative for years, a manager with County government employer, right? Now, I love colors, denim jeans, tie-dyed things, and feeling slightly "hippie". (back to the 70s-80s here) — I call myself the Hippie Senior to my sister and friends. Lorri, my sister, just laughs "you are no hippie". Recently  I wore a tie-dyed shirt with a shoulder bag that's white and flowery. Yes, the flower pattern and tie-dye likely clashed a bit and I loved it. This is my version of seniors years ago who wore polka dots and plaid. :) Finally, I wear a large purple amethyst ring on my right hand daily... its kinda big, bigger than most might wear, but it suits me! To each his own!


80% of seniors have a sense of purpose. Mine is obviously caregiving for mom right now, but also working on my site to spread senior thoughts, and knowledge, help us all pass the years in our best ways. What do YOU do as a sense of purpose? Grandchildren, genealogy, gardens, artwork, etc

67% of seniors feel more positive about aging now. Do you? I think I do — it is what it is. I am aging, we all are, and living on purpose and with intention helps. Who are you and what are you doing in your life? Helping someone else definitely helps you to feel more positive. 

65% think life is better than they thought it would be.  Maybe the worries of retirement begin to disappear once you finally realized the world is still here and, despite work loss, you are able to do what you want? 

Life is good, folks! Feel gratitude every day for what you have. Gratitude ROCKS your world if you use it daily. Sounds too simple but take time to smell the roses all around you! Feel gratitude for that bowl of ice cream at night, the blooming flowers, the cold winter wind in your face -- you are alive.

P.S. I must be aging — Every single time I have typed the word "aging" on this page, I typed "again" instead, I stop, see I did it again, again, correct, and on I go writing. Damn! I cannot seem to type the word aging unless I stop and go slow. Too funny! (oops, yes, I am laughing at my aging!)

P.S.S. I do have an excuse for my issues typing the world A G I N G.  I play Word Connect lately, and it makes me think of word connections in the English language. Words spelled with the same letters but arranged differently, pronunciations of words and how the same letters sound completely different in a new word. New challenges in my world, thinking of word structures -- never stop learning!

If you want to learn more about How to Fight Ageism:

Read this book -- This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism which I have purchased.

I read the sample of the book… it's easy reading and sounds interesting to me.  From Amazon: "Lively, funny, and deeply researched, This Chair Rocks traces her journey from apprehensive boomer to pro-aging radical, and in the process debunks myth after myth about late life." 

CSA (Certified Senior Advisor) conference 2022: This page is taken from my notes and my thoughts on the speaker Kelly O'Connor, MA, CSA speaking on Fighting Ageism: It's Your Time to Shine

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How to fight ageism 
I’m not quite a senior yet but I am retired. I think about aging quite often. You do have to wake up daily with a purpose. I decided to learn a …

Response-as requested! 
Actually, this is an excellent posting….A reminder, in a way, that we can can still choose our responses to life during every season of it! My husband …

Yes, Gratitude is Very Helpful 
Hi Wendy, Thank you for writing a clear, easy to understand article on ageism. I agree that gratitude is important in fighting ageism because we need …

No Bra Ma  
Ma is fat I am skinny Ma is maxi I am mini Ma 94 I 66 Ma is happy I, pessimist Ma went bra-less I did, too Ma: GIRLS ARE FREE! I envied …

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