Ageism is discrimination against people who are seen as “old.” This includes but goes beyond individual interactions. Ageism is structured into our social institutions, like the health care system, the workplace, and more. Our ageist society idealizes youth and marginalizes, makes invisible, and devalues older adults. Ageism affects many older adults, but especially women who tend to live longer than men. We are valued for our reproductive and sexual capacity, and often held to impossible standards of youth, making us more vulnerable in our post-reproductive years to age discrimination. The materials in this section define ageism, explore ways to resist ageist discriminatory practices, and celebrate the diversity of older adults.

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