Similar to racism and sexism, ageism can affect many people at a personal and emotional level, making it difficult for them to find solace and live a positive life. Seniors and even those who aren’t in their sixties yet are often faced with situations where their value in society is questioned rather than respected. Here are some important things to know about ageism in the Hamilton area, and what you can do to stand up against it to protect the wellness of your own loved ones.

Shifting Towards Age-Friendliness

Hamilton aspires to be an age-friendly city. To make the change towards becoming a more positive living environment for all residents, the Hamilton Council on Aging is launching the “You’re Never Too Old” campaign which is designed to highlight the problems older residents face at the hands of ageism. A book of portraits and inspirational messages from over a dozen Hamilton adults from multiple backgrounds, it serves as a platform for older adults in the community to share their positive stories and inspire others their age to maintain self-confidence and a positive way of life. Hamilton has also received recognition for such a future-facing collective mindset, with the city receiving a 2018 Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award. Additionally, McMaster University recently joined an exclusive and ever-growing list of age-friendly universities.

Older Residents are Valuable to Society

The common misconception is that, when we age, we contribute less to society. While there indeed are more older residents in need of care and medical services than younger folk, it is important to remember that they are not “bed blockers,” but valued members of the community. Hamilton’s populous is slowly shifting away from ageist misconceptions that generalize, moving forward with initiatives such as the “You’re Never Too Old” campaign, and it’s helping local residents develop a deeper understanding of how worthwhile our older members of society are. Their experiences, stories, unique skills, and wisdom can influence many future generations as well as help us continue to change communities for the better.

What You Can Do

Work to train yourself to develop a greater sense of openness and consideration towards their living situation and needs, reflecting on their impact on your life and upbringing. Help bring them out of their shell by encouraging them to get involved with stories, games, and evenings out with the family! Additionally, you can apply this new mindset to your community, such as with volunteering positions that help other older residents bring out their skills and potential.

With initiatives such as the “Never Too Old” campaign and local recognition for adapting a new way of appreciating older adults, Hamilton is a shining example of how our society can benefit the lives of all residents every day. We’re happy to be a part of it by helping local healthcare providers and residents be better off in the long run!

At Qualicare Waterloo, we work day and night to bridge the gap between clients seeking care and the compassionate, dedicated care they deserve. We work to enable people through our homecare, regardless of age. Contact us today to find out more.

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