October 1 is National Seniors Day

October 1 is a time when all Canadians can join in celebrating older adults across Canada.

This is a day where all Canadians have an opportunity to acknowledge the life-long contributions older adults have made and continue to make to their families, communities and to society. Seniors are active in the Canadian communities and continue to have a strong presence in the Canadian workforce. One way to recognize seniors is to help stop ageism in Canada.

This is what the Government of Canada website has to say on the topic.

“The World Health Organization defines ageism as “the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.”

Ageism can be perpetrated by a wide range of actors (for example, younger people, employers, governments, media, health and social care systems, and older adults themselves). Ageism includes both attitudes and beliefs towards older adults, as well as actions resulting from these attitudes and beliefs.

Ageism can take many forms. Some examples of ageism include: jokes about a person’s age and making fun of older adults in general; workplace or health care policies that discriminate against older adults; older adults being patronized, ignored, or insulted; assuming that an older adult is incapable of making their own decisions; older adults being offered different screenings or medical treatments than individuals in other age groups. While society widely condemns other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism, ageism remains accepted and unchallenged in many circumstances.”

The Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum is conducting an online questionnaire to learn more about ageism and is asking the public to share their experiences with ageism. If you’re interested in learning more about ageism, consult the Discussion Guide at this link: www.canada.ca and search for Ageism in Canada Discussion Guide. Don’t delay. Complete the questionnaire asap because it closed on September 30, 2022. Older adults and others (e.g., caregivers, family, stakeholder organizations) are encouraged to participate in this questionnaire, which should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. The result of the questionnaire and consultations will be summarized in a report. This is your chance, folks.

Let’s hope it will make a difference in the future. To find the link to the survey go to www.canada.ca and search for “Ageism in Canada Questionnaire”.