The pandemic has amplified ageism. ‘It’s open season for discrimination’ against older adults.

The pandemic has amplified ageism. ‘It’s open season for discrimination’ against older adults.

In the current ageist climate, legalizing assisted suicide is downright dangerous for the elderly. What is urgently needed is a concerted effort to terminate elder abuse and to work towards a more inclusive, more caring and less ageist society.

“…As the debate rages over when or how to resume public life, older adults like Reed have increasingly borne witness to behavior and rhetoric that implies that their lives are not as valuable as reviving the economy.

Ageism has been quietly pervasive in American culture for decades, according to those who work with and study the health of seniors. But they fear that this particular form of discrimination has become magnified during the pandemic as those who have lost income and stability look for someone to blame.

“The stigma [against elders] is growing,” said Dilip Jeste, a geriatric psychiatrist at the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging.

…They are well aware of the prevailing belief that beauty and productivity — the primary measures of worth in the U.S. — are the domains of the young.

But this prejudice has become acute during the pandemic, they agreed. “It’s open season for discrimination against older, vulnerable people,” one person commented.

Eight prominent psychologists from across the globe were so concerned about mounting ageism that in mid-April they wrote an academic paper on the issue for the Gerontological Society of America…

Kuhl offered his own suggestion for combating ageism: reminding young people that they, too will grow old — if they’re lucky.

“If you don’t think older people have value, what you’re really saying is that you’re not going to have value,” he said. “Is that what you really want?”

Read more at the LA Times…