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Test your ageism aptitude
Another strategy for overcoming ageism, is to know what you don’t know! Try this engaging quiz to update your knowledge. For each quiz completed, The Luc Maurice Foundation will donate $2 to an organization that works with seniors.*
As we age, most of us will continue to enjoy a good memory. Although 40% of people aged 65 and over show some minimal memory loss, that does not prevent the pursuit of daily activities. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that after age 60, only 5-8% of people have Alzheimer’s or neurocognitive impairment at some point in their lives.
Source: Alzheimer Society of Canada
Individual biological differences (health condition, physical resistance, etc.) tend to be more pronounced from one elderly person to another than between young people; two 10-year-old children will be more similar than two 80-year-olds). This variation also makes it complicated to interpret scientific studies on aging, as the results do not always apply to the majority of seniors.
In addition to biological differences, several other reasons underscore the disparity between people as they age. Affluence, education, environment, physical activity, and socialization are all factors that greatly influence how individuals develop.
Source: Aging - Transcending the Myths, WHO report, 1999
According to Statistics Canada, 18.5% of the population was aged 65 and over in 2018. This percentage is projected to increase to 25% by 2030, and to 27% in 2043.
Seniors have never been as employed! In the past ten years, the proportion of individuals aged 65 and over in the labor market has almost doubled, reaching the historic mark of 11%. The elderly desire to remain active, preserve their independence and broaden their contributions.
Countless studies demonstrate that staying active is one of the keys to healthier aging. Both physically and mentally, having personal projects and participating in activities brings many benefits: higher self-esteem, elevated strengths and skills, improved performance, increased well-being, personal fulfilment and finding purpose in life.
Source: Managing Personal Goals: A program promoting psychological well-being, Sylvie Lapierre Ph.D., Léandre Bouffard Ph.D. and Micheline Dubé Ph.D., Les Éditions JFD, 2021
When it comes to driving, the elderly are often victims of ageism. However, age should not be confused with functional losses that hinder one’s ability to drive. According to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (2006), driving a passenger vehicle safely is not a question of age, but rather of the “state of health” of a person’s sensory functions (e.g. vision, hearing), cognitive abilities (e.g. memory, judgment, attention) and motor skills (e.g. flexibility, muscle strength). Whether a person is young or old, their actual age doesn’t accurately reflect their ability to drive. In general, the effects of aging appear slowly and are barely noticeable; we get used to them without even realizing it (Council of Elders, 2006).
Source: Opinion on Ageism Towards Seniors: State of the situation, Council of Quebec Seniors, March 2010
The rate of major depression is relatively low, affecting between 3 and 5% of individuals over the age of 65 living independently in the community.
Numerous studies have shown that motivation and performance at work do not decrease with age. Experience and a better ability to work in a team allow seniors to compensate for their slight loss of speed, if this is the case. In fact, seniors are highly productive resources in their respective workplaces.
Source: Advisory Committee for Workers 45 and Over, Literature Review on Ageism, April 2018, p. 15.
Research shows that sexuality is an important focus for many people over the age of 60. Current observations among seniors show that the need for both affection and sexual desires is manifested in reality in various ways.
Source: CHU de Québec, Laval University
According to Statistics Canada, an estimated 24% of Canadians over the age of 65 feel isolated and wish they could participate in more social activities. Social isolation occurs when an elder's community participation or interactions decrease. It is estimated that 30% of Canadian seniors are at risk of social isolation.
Source: Statistics Canada Canadian Community Health Survey 2008-2009, cited in Report on Social Isolation of Seniors 2013-2014. Government of Canada, p. 1, National Seniors Council (2014).
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Thank you for for putting so much thought into the update on the realities facing today’s (and tomorrow’s) seniors! In our view, to overcome prejudices like ageism, it’s necessary for us to understand this valued group of people. Doing so, requires knowledge. Realizing that we have misconceptions is an excellent start to demystifying this period of life that ultimately concerns us all. We are all the seniors of tomorrow... no matter how old we may be today.
Together, let's choose a world without ageism!
With your completion of this quiz, The Luc Maurice Foundation will donate $2* to organizations working with seniors: