Stereotypes Regarding the Elderly in the Society

Stereotypes Regarding the Elderly in the Society

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Stereotypes Regarding the Elderly in the Society

Most people preach that the elderly are no longer treated the same way they used to be treated back in the days. However, the same people are reluctant to change the situation as it gets worse every day. Age is a biological and social classification that human beings undergo. Therefore, the elderly should be respected for their contribution to societal roles such as the economy, education, and family.

There are stereotypes regarding the elderly in our society who don’t appreciate the roles the elderly played in making society a better place (Donizzetti, 2019). The following theories and aspects drive the stereotypes: Disengagement theory, this perspective does not acknowledge how vulnerable the elderly are considered in society. The double standard of aging, where men are judged according to their contribution to society while women are judged according to their beauty. Ageism is stereotyping of adults that may increase isolation and elderly abuse damaging the elderly’s self-concepts.

Modernization lowers older adults’ status because young people are given more opportunities to obtain education by offering student loans and having an advantage in the workplace. This creates negative tension between the elderly and the young, making them fight for space in society, not a good thing to watch. The recent technologies do not favor the elderly since most workplaces rely on these technologies to run their business. Most elderly have no experience in this machinery. Therefore, they have no space in such offices or firms.

Stereotypes about the elderly have been pervasive in culture and it has influenced how adults look at themselves. Aging is a complex process, but still, it has been stereotyped. There is a significant role in shaping how people think the stereotype is employed in a particular group. A stereotype can be positive as well as neutral and it has changed with time. Nevertheless, stereotypes of the elderly are considered social constructs that can be culturally and historically situated. Comparatively, stereotypes of the elderly can potentially reinforce ageism (Sarabia-Cobo & Pfeiffer, 2015). It is significant to acknowledge that the elderly won’t respond to stereotypes as a single entity. 

These stereotypes can be changed by creating an environment favorable for both the young and the old not to fight each other. The elderly population keeps growing, and there should be more elderly homes built and encourage and educate young people to volunteer in helping them. This will create a bond between the two and making the elderly feel accepted in society.



Donizzetti, A. R. (2019). Ageism in an aging society: The role of knowledge, anxiety about aging, and stereotypes in young people and adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(8), 1329.

Sarabia-Cobo, C. M., & Pfeiffer, C. C. (2015). Changing negative stereotypes regarding aging in undergraduate nursing students. Nurse education today, 35(9), e60-e64.

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