Ageism in Canada

Ageism In Canada


The discussion of Ageism got off the ground in the United States and there is considerably less activity in Canada. Ageism, perhaps less visible in Canada, has been described as a “quiet epidemic”.

In reality older Canadians have reported experiencing more ageist incidents than older Americans. Are Canadians really more ageist than Americans?

Robert Butler, a psychologist in the USA, first coined the term ageism and defined it as “another form of bigotry” and “a process of systematic stereotyping and discrimination against people because they are old” . Ageism is different from the other types of “ism” such as sexism and racism. Unlike those forms of bias, ageism may affect anyone who lives long enough to become a target of discrimination. While there are both positive and negative aspects of ageism, in general, it has negative consequences for seniors.

Although less visible, ageism does exist in Canadian society. We need to open a discussion that will lead to changes in attitudes and expectations of the aging process, creating a more age inclusive society.

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