Combating AgeismDiscrimination continues to be an issue in America, and age is one of the most common forms of discrimination behind race. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly 93 percent of seniors say they regularly experience ageism, most commonly people assuming they cant operate a smartphone or dont contribute anything of value to their community. The same report also finds that 65 percent of seniors regularly hear jokes suggesting theyre not attractive or desirable because of their age, and 45 percent say they interact with others concerned about their ability to do things independently.These signs of discrimination are ageist, which many individuals are combating throughout their workplaces and the rest of society.What is ageism?Ageism is when a person or entity discriminates against someone because of their age. A person can experience age discrimination for being too young, but ageism is more often toward seniors for being too old. Sometimes ageism happens in the workplace, where experienced company employees treat older workers differently, or hiring teams refuse to hire someone past a certain age. Some seniors also experience forced retirement when a company pushes someone to retire to move a younger person into their position.Age discrimination can happen outside of work. Some businesses might not have accessibility options for seniors or may refuse to serve or work with seniors because of made-up ideas that seniors arent as important as others.Tips for combating ageismWhether youre a senior facing ageism or a younger adult witnessing ageism, consider these tips to help combat the negative connotation associated with aging.Educate yourself and othersAgeism stems from the stereotype that older adults become helpless as they age. While its factual that people experience physical and mental changes with age that may affect how they live, someones age doesnt solely determine their capabilities. Take notice if youre treating older adults differently, which can include talking down to seniors, refusing to accommodate them, or giving them less complicated tasks to complete at work because you dont think they can operate at the same level as a younger employee. Remember to treat everyone equally and provide opportunities to all, regardless of age, race, or gender.Support seniorsGetting older causes challenges, and sometimes seniors may need additional support. If you see an older adult who needs help, offer your assistance. Just because a senior may need help doesnt mean they cannot work efficiently or care for themselves. And if you witness ageism, whether at work or in public, consider supporting the older individual by asking if theyre okay. Sometimes the acknowledgment of their worth from another person can significantly help.Speak upDont be afraid to speak up if you witness ageism or any other form of discrimination. If you notice something going on at work, such as a manager taking projects or responsibilities away from an older coworker, report the potential ageism to your HR department. If you notice a business you dont work at but visit, such as a restaurant or coffee shop being disrespectful to older patrons or employees, ask to speak with a manager or, in extreme cases, file a complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.What to do if you experience ageism at workEvery person desires to work and explore new job opportunities regardless of age. If you experience age discrimination in the workplace, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is a federal law designed to protect people 40 and older from ageism at work. This act also protects older adults from forced retirement.If you experience age discrimination at work, you can file a charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Every discrimination complaint is unique; filling a complaint may be enough to see changes at workouts. However, you can hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit if you want to take additional steps.Combating Ageism with Visiting AngelsSociety tries putting limitations on people as they age. One of those limitations is making seniors and their families believe independent living is impossible. Visiting Angels is here to reimagine what independent living looks like for seniors, no matter their situation.Visiting Angels is a locally owned and operated home care agency providing at-home care services to seniors throughout Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Our professional caregivers assist clients with nonmedical services to help them live safely and comfortably at home. Services may include medication reminders, meal preparations, light housekeeping, mobility assistance, and transportation.All services with Visiting Angels are customizable to meet the needs and expectations of each client. Learn more about our services by calling 251-943-7525 or message us.
This program is a partnership between Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation (IVERS) and Connections Area Agency on Aging. You must have an open case with IVRS to be referred to our Employment Specialist.Our Older Worker Employment Specialist works with adults age 55 and older who have a verified disability and are working with Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Their disability is a barrier to finding or obtaining employment. The Older Worker Employment Specialist's role is to work with Job Candidates to identify barriers and work towards their job goal. In the process of working with Job Candidate, the Job Candidate receives help to build on job-seeking skills, completing applications, practice with role play for interviews, creating resumes, and contacting employers.Our Older Worker Employment Specialist also networks with local employers and businesses within the 20 counties served by Connections, sharing information about the program as well as identifying jobs, and matching Job Candidates with jobs/employers for the best fit - always advocating for businesses to hire work-ready candidates.The goal of the program is to secure and main successful job placement of each Job Candidate, working with both the employee and employer. The Older Worker Employment Specialist works during this time to help the Job Candidate learn about the job and provide mentoring as necessary. Contact is made at least twice per month by phone, email, face to face visits, etc. depending on individual need. Once placement is made and the Job Candidate is confident in the position (90 day time frame) they are closed successfully with IVRS but OWEP will provide follow along for 1 year!Older workers bring experience, skills and lifelong knowledge into the workplace, making them valued, work-ready employees.Eligibility CriteriaOlder Worker Employment Program QualifiersMust be age 55 and olderMust have a disability that is a barrier to employmentIs off the Vocational Rehabilitation waiting listDoes not required Supported Employment ServicesIs not currently working with a Senior Corps Senior Employment Program (SCSEP) such as Experience Works, AARP, Senior Services of AmericaJob Candidate ProcessThe Job Candidate comes off of the waiting listThe Job Candidate's information is reviewed for the Older Worker Employment Program qualifiersThe Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor completes and sends the referral packet information to the Older Worker Employment SpecialistThe Employment Specialist will contact the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor to schedule a meeting with the Job Candidate and the Counselor.The Older Worker Employment Specialist RoleThe Older Worker Employment Specialist assists Job Candidates in the following ways:Completing various vocational assessments and identifying a job role.Enhancing job seeking skills, completing applications, preparing for interviewing, writing resumes, and contacting employers.Working with employers to create positions that may be otherwise difficult to fill.Matching positions with the expectations of the employer and with the skills and abilities of the Job Candidate in mind.Advocating with businesses to hire work-ready job candidates.Helping employers identify job-ready candidates in an effective manner and offer options for hard to fill positions.Tracking and ensuring training of job candidates who are newly hired, so that they become familiar with and understand the workplace culture, expectations, and how to handle situations on the job.Discussing how the job candidate is adjusting to the new job and providing guidance as needed.Providing follow-up contact for up to one year after an individual is stable in employment.Establishing successful and effective networks of connections with business customers and the Aging Network.Communication and collaborating with Iowa Vacation Rehabilitation Service (IVRS) staff to provide assistance to job candidates.Informing the IVRS Counselor of the job candidates 'progress at least twice per month and sending case notes on a monthly basis.Article Submitted by Connections Area Agency on Aging
There are many changes in the realm of senior care, everything from improved rehabilitation equipment, remote-monitoring or telehealth equipment and so much more. One of the changes that has been highlighted recently is how inter-generational exchanges can have a positive effect in the senior care sector for everyone involved!As reported in McKnights Senior Living in January 29th, 2018, [m]any senior living communities are welcoming students of all ages some as temporary residents and scheduling activities to foster intergenerational relationships. At The Middletown Home, beginning in the Fall of 2018, we are spear-heading this trend in South Central PA! The Penn State Harrisburg campus is next door to our community and we are offering students from Penn State Harrisburg a wonderful opportunity to reside on our campus. Students receive a furnished independent living apartment equipped with a full bath and kitchen and meal plan, as students are encouraged to share meals with residents in our dining room.A very modest monthly fee is charged to the student in exchange for the student providing a minimum of twenty (20) hours/month of structured volunteer programming with our residents. Students are encouraged to participate in programming such as: 1:1 visits; escorting residents to social events on and off campus; sharing in music, dance, drama, and/or art; and most importantly offering companionship.In 2017, Leading Age, along with Generations United published a white paper called Intergenerational Programming in Senior Housing. This paper reports there is a growing interest among senior housing providers in intergenerational programming as a vehicle for connecting residents to the broader community, enhancing well-being for both youth and older adults, reducing ageism, and preparing an aging workforce. There is even a trend for active involvement of child-care centers in some senior residences in South Central PA.Whether its students or child care, the results are the same opening up the lives of both the seniors and the participants (children or young adults) can positively impact everyones outlook. As we vision for the future, The Middletown Home is intentional in more fully developing a campus of Wellness, Rehabilitation, and Life Long Learning, especially through the relationship between The Middletown Home and the students of Penn State Harrisburg. As we embrace our visioning specific to Life Long Learning, the relationship between The Middletown Home and the students of Penn State-Harrisburg is paramount. I truly believe that We are better, when were together, both residents and students living together in one community with one another._____________________________Editors Note: Louis Vogel III submitted this article. He is the CEO at The Middletown Home CCRC.