Melbourne’s east has an ageing community, and we are committed to tackling ageism. With six other councils we have developed a joint campaign to raise awareness about ageism, challenge stereotypes of what it is to be older, and encourage people to speak up and take action.
There are many ways you can get involved and learn more:
- Watch the ageism videos.
- Take the ‘Am I Ageist?’ quiz.
- Sign the online pledge to stand for a world without ageism.
- Visit your local library, sign a hard copy pledge and add it to our community pledge wall.
- Take a photo with your signed pledge and post it on social media.
- Speak up and start a conversation when you hear someone being ageist.
Ageism is stereotyping, discrimination and mistreatment based solely on a person’s age. When directed towards older people, it comes from negative attitudes and beliefs about what it means to be older.
Ageism exists when someone is presumed to be ‘too old’ for something, like a job or promotion. Essentially, ageism is a lack of respect for older people. It affects the confidence, quality of life, job prospects, health and self-esteem of many older people in our community. At its extreme, ageism contributes to elder abuse.
For more information about ageism watch this short video – Imagine a world without ageism from the EveryAGE Counts campaign (narrated by Bryan Brown) or check out this great TED talk Let’s end ageism by Aston Applewhite.
Together we are striving for a region without ageism and celebrating older people as a diverse group, with diverse interests who contribute an enormous amount to our communities, families, organisations and economy.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is held on the 15 June each year. It aims to raise awareness of elder abuse, a form of ageism. This June, the City of Boroondara is raising awareness about elder abuse for WEAAD.
Elder abuse is a form of family violence. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines abuse of older people as “a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.” It can include physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse; financial and material abuse; abandonment and neglect. Preventing abuse is necessary to protect the human rights and dignity of older people.
The warning signs of elder abuse may include an older person seeming fearful, anxious or isolated. There may be injuries, or an absence of personal care. Unexplained changes to legal documents or finances are also of concern. Most elder abuse occurs behind closed doors, so it is important for loved ones to watch out for signs, listen and offer help.
If you are experiencing elder abuse or concerned about an older person, you can get help by calling Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821 Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm, or visit their website.