Time to change stereotypes of ageing

Leonie Sanderson Blog's picture
Leonie Sanderson

There are 24 Million people in Australia and 15%  are over 65.

With ageing and longevity well and truly on the agenda for the future, what policies will government put in place to ensure older people are valued and not considered a burden to the economy? How will we tackle ageism?

If we are living longer and healthier lives and presumably working longer, then it is truly the time to smash stereotypes of ageing.

According to research from Swinburne University/QUT:

• 34% of all young firms in Australia are now led by older people
• The average age of older entrepreneurs is 57
• Seniorpreneurs invest, on average, A$1.2 million more in their business than younger entrepreneurs, and earn more than twice the profits

Changing collective attitudes to ageing is critical to the future of our communities. Shifting perceptions of age as a downward trajectory, of older people as over the hill, of ageing as a negative process - this needs to change across all parts of society. Change and transition is a part of daily life and how we respond is important to our health and wellbeing. Undervaluing the experiences of older generations will lead to increased social isolation, increased rates of depression and a concurrent rise in health and medical costs. Addressing ageism now is critical to the very future of our selves.

Leonie Sanderson is an expert in ageing. Leonie is presenting at Ageism: The Next Frontier on Friday 16 June as part of Vivid Ideas.