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What assumptions do people make about older people?

Updated on June 9, 2016


For several months I considered writing a hub about ageing. After reading “The Day I Joined the Ranks of Invisible Older Women” by Sally’s Trove, I decided to cover ageing from the workplace. For me it was not an “aha” moment but a series of realizations.


Source

Too expensive to keep around and too expensive to hire


Because of the natural processing of increasing wages, people who work on jobs for a significant amount of time earn more money that the newcomers. While this may seem logical and make good sense, the more experienced, hired paid employees are offered special financial incentives to take layoffs. A layoff is not the same as retirement. If the experienced workers are tricked into the layoffs, thinking they can get another job, they are rudely awakened when their job searches start. They are interviewed by younger people who will not hire them. The trick question of requested “starting salary” prices them right out of the race. Willingness to take a significantly lower salary makes you look desperate and they don’t want to hire desperate people. Their vast experience is not needed and there is the intimidation factor. Older people making suggestions are often considered arrogant, threatening, or trying to return us to the dark ages. Managers like to have younger, inexperienced workers so they can train them. The younger workers are paid less, do not present a threat, and assumed to be loyal.

To witness the insensivity to the high unemployment rate of the elderly, read comments at the end of same subject articles on the Internet. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/20/employment-elderly-economy-recession_n_904281.html



Source

Talked to in a patronizing tone


For some reason younger people think older people have problems using technology. This might have been a reasonable assumption in the twentieth century. My nephew made insinuations about my computer knowledge which caused me to remind him that he first went on the Internet at my house and I bought him his first computer. I have found many colleagues on Hub pages who are over the age of 50 and many of those are over 60. The subject matter of the hub often helps approximate the age of the writer. We know how to use computers and the Internet. We are able to use the complete Office Suite, not just Microsoft Word. Many of us know how to use more advanced software. We are older and no less capable than younger people.


Treated like you are invisible


If is totally offensive to sit in a teacher’s meeting and hear an administrator say that the “older teachers are not getting it.” The “it” is supposedly new teaching strategies which are usually things that have been done for years but never given a formal name. One such example is “chunk and chew.” Chunk and chew is simply a matter of taking a larger difficult concept and breaking it down in to smaller digestable portions so students can understand.


When the staff splits for meetings and a) veterans are directed to stay in this room and b) new teachers go to another building, I can imagine what the discussion is about. When you notice that friendly wave and greeting that you once exchanged with colleagues is now replaced by strangers who won’t even look at you, you are old and insignificant!


This is surely one of the reasons the elderly can look forward to heaven. There is no discrimination there. Age does not matter. There will be no meanness there.


How do younger people make you feel?

Do they openly make old people comments and think you don't hear them?

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Experienced older people are unable to find jobs

Do you know of experienced people over 50 who are unable to find jobs?

See results

Younger People Make ASSumptions About Older People

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    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 7 weeks ago from Fontana

      Milec, my concern these dates starts with the lack of compassion many family members have for a parent or relative that needs 24 hour care. I have observed cases where relatives leave the person in the home unattended so they can keep the house after the loved one dies.

      the smell in many care facilities let us know that people are not being changed as much as needed.

      My cousin paid for a care policy and could have well been cared for at home. Her husband did not want strangers in the house.

      When I wrote this article, a friend of mine was passing away. Her nephew made sure she was cremated the next day. She had a 51 year old autistic son who didn't get to see her and was not at a memorial they had a month later.

      There are many selfish and greedy people in this world. Payback will be in they get old and need assistance.

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 7 weeks ago from Fontana

      Thank you for you insight Arthur. At this point, I've pretty muched ruled out working. Since I retiredd, I have filled my time with genealogy, piano, women's ministrt and no ridged schedule. I'm blessed have it iis not necessary that I work. If a person is attempting to reach a certain level for retirement, they have my condolences. When you file a complain, people call you a trouble maker. That is regardless of your age. It is important that we older people keep up with technology and system requirements and changes. If we do that, we always have valuable input. We can compare and contrast. Kids cannot imagine life without a cellphone. When I wa a child, we were afraid of cars breaking down too far away from the call boxes.

    • Nathanville profile image

      Arthur Russ 8 weeks ago from England

      Being from Britain, I found your article an interesting read in that it highlighted another aspect of American Society which I had some awareness of from discussion with other Americans; but you’ve put some of the points so eloquently, which I found useful.

      We do have ageism as an issue in the UK, but it’s not such a big issue as in America; and in Britain it can cut both ways. Sometimes Companies prefer to take on an older more experienced worker, which can sometimes make it more difficult for a young person to get a job in order to gain experience e.g. a ‘Catch 22’ situation where you can’t get a job until you have experience and you can’t get the experience until you get a job.

      That being said, in Britain it is more difficult for someone over 50 who are unemployed to get another job than someone younger; but not impossible. In the UK it’s not so much the wages but quite often more of the case that an older person would be more inclined to be thinking of working towards retirement rather than being committed to make a career out of being employed by the Company e.g. a younger person maybe more inclined to be committed to training and promotion.

      However, another factor that may differ between the USA and UK is that in Britain we do have stringent employment laws against discrimination of any kind, which is heavily enforced; and which generally, most employers, do respect. For example, in the UK, if you can prove that you’ve been discriminated against because of your age (which can be difficult to prove) then you do have the full protection of the employment tribunal; which is a Free Service in Britain.

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 3 years ago from Fontana

      God bless you Michael-Milec! I believe it is all part of the moral decline in the United States. I don't know about other countries. You are right about the three generations living in a home. The elders were respected and imparted wisdom to all. As I aged, I realize how smart my grandmothers were. Now I find myself repeating some of their sayings: "Just keep living." "Pride comes before a fall." "He who laughs last laughs loudest." Off to my ladies' Bible study.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Oh dianetrotter, after reading your great Hub article, my heart is saddened to know that young people disregard the reality we fall in graciously , we can't help 'getting older', and it is not easy thing to do. We never been there before, and as we are learning to become older, young people should be taught great lesson of our earthly life, that one day they will have chance to share their experience and wisdom with their youngsters . I remember way back when families of three generations lived under the same roof. Bu experience young people were maturing in wisdom , respectfully treating everyone older , as older have return the favor by being helpful any way they could... A compassionate society ? I do not have better understanding than this, to care about and be tolerable with those who by their hard and honest work made this world great place to live in.

      Voted beautiful and interesting.

      Peace with us.

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 3 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you Express10. It doesn't take long to get old.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 3 years ago from East Coast

      I feel badly for older and elderly people because our society often does treat them as if they are not useful or valued. I often think of an older person as having more knowledge and experience than myself. Usually I'm right and only a minority of times am I wrong. The way I see it, if we're lucky we will get old. I could not be rude towards anyone simply because of their age and don't understand why others do that.

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      Hi again bibi! Did you quit your job? What are you doing now?

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      Hi bibi, very interesting!

    • profile image

      bibi 5 years ago

      most old people in managerial positions are awful: they are arrogant, must be right all the time, only their word matters ... not open to any new idea and they hire old people too ... they are workaholics, don't care for the others, only the profit and the company matters

      personally i don't like working for or with older people, i had bad experiences

      i'm quitting my job in a few days, i prefer to die of hunger on the streets than to be treated like a slave

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you Time Traveler! If we all valued people more than ourselves this would be a much better world.

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you Peoplepower and Timetraveler. Peoplepower, I'm not a techie like you but I remember booted with DOS!

      Timetraveler, I used to be a hottie myself. It was really hard to get an apartment. They thought young people just wanted to party.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 5 years ago from USA

      This was an interesting hub. I agree with what you say, but I have seen this type of discrimination cut both ways. When I was young and "hot", it was common for the older women I worked with to treat me poorly, etc. I think it's more a matter of individual behavior in many cases. Of course there is discrimination, but older people also discriminate against the young. No reason for any of it, and it doesn't say much for the way people think, either. Voted up.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 5 years ago from USA

      This was an interesting hub. I agree with what you say, but I have seen this type of discrimination cut both ways. When I was young and "hot", it was common for the older women I worked with to treat me poorly, etc. I think it's more a matter of individual behavior in many cases. Of course there is discrimination, but older people also discriminate against the young. No reason for any of it, and it doesn't say much for the way people think, either. Voted up.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

      I'm will be 74 in a few days. I have worked with technology and computers since I was 17 and have a great appreciation for today's technology based on how far it has evolved. And I'm very comfortable with today's technology. My body of knowledge far exceeds anything the iPad generation has to offer and that gives me wisdom and insight. Today, they just demand that everything works with perfection and have no idea what is inside a computer or how it works. They have the power of a main frame system that used to occupy a building of equipment at their finger tips, but don't realize it...voting up, interesting , and sharing.

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      You are so correct. Age is no longer cosidered a sign of wisdom. God bless you!

    • GodTalk profile image

      Jeff Shirley 5 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks for your Hub. Considering that one out of 8 Americans now is over the age of 65, and 5,500 Americans are reaching their 65th birthday every day, the problems aren't going away soon.

      We need to get a more biblical perspective on aging here in America. In Scripture, old age is a blessing from God. It isn't something to be ashamed of, but to thank Him for, because He's allowed you to be around as long as you have.

      Older women and men are to teach younger people about how to lead a successful life, both by example and by words. It's time that America stops devaluing this wonderful natural resource that we have, and starts giving them the respect that they deserve.

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      Thank you for your comments Sophia! I remember the late 60's and believe that is when we started going off course. There was increased drug use, more liberal views on sex encounters, and the prevalence of gangs. There were people who thought they had it made because they received a "county" check better known as welfare. Now we have kids who are angry and disrespectful. Many cannot read, write, add, subtract, multiply or divide.

    • profile image

      Sophia Angelique 5 years ago

      For the record, baby boomers are the most computer literate and savvy generation in the world. We invented most of it. Of course we know how to use them. I've been using them since 1975, was on the web end 1994, did my web qualification exams in 2000, etc.

      As for the argument about age not being respected, I guess the chickens have come home to roost. I clearly remember in the 60s how my generation was arguing that one shouldn't have to respect people just because they are older. I never agreed with my generation on anything. I preferred the ways that had been formed over hundreds of years, based on wisdom and knowledge.

      Now that baby boomers are older, no doubt they will remember that one doesn't respect people just because they're older. One remembers that when they were 20, they were the one's saying that younger people knew just as much as older people, and that older people weren't more experienced or better judges just because they were older...

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      I agree with you. If you hire people, then you do not have to pay taxes to support them.

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      Michele, you speak the truth. Social Security will have more people "on it" than people "paying in to it." It is better to have more people paying in. This is not to say that there should be excuses for elderly people not meeting the challenges of the job. However, it should not be ASSumed that they won't.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      So it is going to make it harder to find a job when you are older if then one who hires people is younger then you. That is not very good since the retirement age is going to rise. Then older people will not only hurt on the inside, they will hurt on the outside also. Sorry not trying to make this political.

      Voted up.

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      @gmwilliams, thank you for reading my article. When you display that teflon exterior, there is still a level of hurt inside. However, we don't have to let them know they got to us.

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      Ah! Au Fait, you are feeling the love too!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Agree that older people and all their experience and knowledge are not appreciated in this country.

      For some reason lack of experience and knowledge ARE valued in this country and not only because it's willing to work for much less money. Maybe because it's hot and sexy and knowledge and experience are dull and boring?

      Who wants an employee who is responsible, dependable, competent, and who cares about doing a good job anyway? Why would any employer choose such a dullard when they can have a nonthreatening person who's greatest talent is entertaining people as they walk down the isle to the water fountain? (I'm being facetious, for those people who do not understand sarcasm.)

      I learned in one of my gerontology classes that older people, but especially older women, have the hardest time finding a job.

      Once women hit 40 they're supposed to self-destruct out of consideration for hotter sexier women, yes? If they don't have the good sense to do that, then society (including other women) will make them sorry for their poor decision.

      Not sure why so many women buy into this idea that women must first be hot and sexy before they can be considered for things that actually require brains and the ability to operate a brain safely and competently. However, the recent hoopla over Gabrielle Douglas' hair instead of focusing on her achievement proves that superficial and shallow rule with women everywhere, just like it does with men, when it comes to women. Looks and age come first even when choosing the maid or cleaning lady. What is wrong with the people in this country?

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Great hub. If a younger person dares to disrespect me, well right back at them tenfold. When I return the "compliment', they become quite nonplussed at me to say the least!

    • dianetrotter profile image
      Author

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 5 years ago from Fontana

      T4an you are so correct! My students think I am really old but they love me. I fell at school yesterday and am waiting to hear if my arm is broken. I am concerned that the fall impacted my hip replacement. My students have been so concerned. Young adults act like they don't notice my arm in a splint.

    • T4an profile image

      T4an 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I believe discriminating against older people is horrible. If anything it is heartbreaking to see the elderly in pain when walking or struggling to just buy groceries. How anyone can be rude or dismissive towards them is disgusting. Even adults who are in their 60's are not shown respect by younger adults. They better be careful because in a blink of an eye, they will be in their 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. Great hub and much appreciated. Voted up!

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