Ageism is a serious form of social discrimination and can have a severe effect on the self-esteem and wellbeing of older adults. In fact negative self-perceptions due to ageism can affect older adults on many levels resulting in feelings of loneliness, sadness, anger, shame, restrict participation and inclusion in all aspects of life.
The Age Discrimination Act 2004 protects individuals across Australia from discrimination on the basis of age in many areas of public life, including employment, education, accommodation and the provision of goods and services. There are also laws and services in place that can assist in preventing elder abuse.
The Age Discrimination Commissioner, the Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO, is responsible for raising awareness of age discrimination, educating the community about the impact of age discrimination and monitoring and advocating for the elimination of age discrimination across all areas of public life.
If you are experiencing ageism and it is impacting your life, you can contact the Australian Human Rights Commission on 1300 369 711, or for further information visit www.humanrights.gov.au