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International Day of Older Persons: Challenging assumptions

Published on 01 October 2020 12:00 AM

Challenging negative ageist stereotypes

Happy International Older Persons Day 2020! We're celebrating older people and challenging negative #ageist stereotypes. Never have older people's rights and access to healthcare been more vital.

Today on International Day of Older Persons we're challenging assumptions made about older people and how the coronavirus pandemic has bought to the forefront the ageism that many older people face in their daily lives. 

We know older people are amongst the most at risk of falling severely ill from COVID-19, but in many parts of the world the description of the deadly virus being an older person's disease is leading to age discrimination and inforcing damaging and negative stereotypes.  

Ageism has serious consequences. At least 55 governments have promoted COVID-19 policies that restrict older people's movements, denying our right to make decisions, and have access to food and medical services.

Throughout the pandemic we've been advocating for the rights of older people in response to COVID-19.

Read more here

The description of the virus as a disease of older people has reinforced stereotypes and led to discrimination in areas such as healthcare, where it could be life-threatening.

Like the UN Secretary General said, “Beyond its immediate health impact, the pandemic is putting older people at greater risk of poverty, discrimination and isolation.”

All governments, international actors and service providers are duty-bound to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable in society are met regardless of their age.

Listen to Ken Bluestone, Head of Advocacy on why this is so important and how it is included in the UN policy briefing.

Watch the video

We want decision-makers to listen to what older people have to say, and ensure they have equal access to prevention measures, support and services, wherever they live.

Join us today on our social media channels to celebrate older people and challenge the ageist stereotypes they face on a daily basis. 

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Last updated: Nov 16 2020

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