Identify 5 signs of ageism to become aware of this way of thinking. Ageism, also called age discrimination, is any stereotyping, prejudice, or any general negative thinking that people have about older people. Often signs of ageism are seen in the workplace, which leads to older workers being discriminated against by younger coworkers.
- Assuming that older people are a certain way. The most obvious sign of ageism is when people see an older person and automatically assume that older person is a certain way. This can include their mental sharpness or physical abilities. Ageism, like any prejudice, does not rely on facts but on a stereotype that a group of set of people will be or act a certain way just because they belong to a given group, in this case, a group of older people.
- Passing over older workers because of their age. Another key sign of ageism is the act of passing older people by when hiring or promoting workers. Some people believe older workers are not as up to date on technological issues, for example, and assume that the older person cannot do the job. This is a sign of ageism.
- Holding a physical impairment against a person. Ageism can include seeing an older person with a limp or other physical impairment and assuming that they are unable to do certain things. This fact may or may not be true. The limp may be temporary from a sports injury, for instance, but ageism assumes the person is limping because of their age.
- Seeing gray hair makes someone old. The fact that someone has gray hair or is bald and jumping to the conclusion that the person is old is another sign of age discrimination. Some people are prematurely gray or go bald as a young person. This type of physical feature is not always a true sign of someone's age, and thinking that the person is old because of it is a sign of ageism.
- Thinking all old people act a certain way. Many people have in their minds how older people act. When they lump all older people into a set pattern without giving each individual the benefit of showing their own abilities or characteristics, age discrimination is at work.