The stereotyping of senior citizens is usually called ageism, and it is stereotyping of individuals or groups because of their age.
As is the case with other stereotypes, this group too has certain beliefs, attitudes attached to it. Unfortunately, most senior citizens need to deal with the "old dogs, new tricks" labeling. It is assumed that senior citizens do not know as much about say, computers or other electronic gadgets as the youngsters do. They are stereotyped as the people who are not adaptable, do not know much about computers and are slow.However, the truth may be that most senior citizens have used a computer as part of their work ever since 1990s. They have lived and worked through some of the most incredible and diverse technological changes and the longevity in their present jobs suggest that they have adapted quite well.
Age based stereotypes come into fore in our day to day lives. For example, if there are two people, one younger and the other older, both suffering from back pain. Now, age based stereotypes make us think that the younger person’s condition can be treated fast and the older person’s condition is chronic and may not be treated as fast. It may be true in some cases, but it cannot be generalized because there are many senior citizens who recover faster.
This stereotyping of older people can affect their self-confidence and subsequently their behaviors and they may start to feel like dependent, non-contributing members of society. Research has shown that when senior citizens repeatedly hear stereotypes about their supposed incompetence and ineptness, they tend to perform worse on measures of competence and memory.
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