Ageism Behind Society’s Response To COVID-19

I work in Dementia care research and manage human rights charity Capacity Australia. I have long been aware of the major problem we have treating our elders with the care and respect they deserve, so clearly evidenced by the ongoing Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Despite this, I am still shocked by the way society’s foibles in regards to ageism have unfolded in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Talking to friends and acquaintances and trying to allay anxieties, what is striking is the way in which psychological distancing (“it doesn’t affect me”) is used to deal with overwhelming statistics of cases and more frightening, deaths. The common question asked when there is another death is, “But how old was she?”

Source: Jessop, T, 2020, Ageism Behind Society’s Response To COVID-19, HelloCare, viewed 9 April 2020, <>

Image source: HelloCare