Are you ageist?

Most of us feel we're not particularly 'ageist' but until you take the 'Am I Ageist?' quiz and find out - you won't know! You can do the 'Am I ageist?' quiz here.

The 'Am I Ageist? quiz has been set up by a coalition called EveryAGE Counts. This coalition is made up of more than 20 high-profile organisations and individuals with the aim to help fight ageism and age discrimination in Australia.

The EveryAGE Counts campaign was launched in Sydney earlier this year, by Robert Tickner AO (former federal Minister and Red Cross CEO) and Dr Kay Patterson AO (Commonwealth Age Discrimination Commissioner).

The campaign launched a video voiced by Australian actor Bryan Brown and the quiz: ‘Are you ageist?’ Anyone supporting the campaign can also sign a pledge to end ageism and discrimination on the EveryAGE Counts website.

At the campaign launch, campaign co-chair Robert Tickner said what marks out age from other forms of prejudice and discrimination is that, if we're lucky, we can all get to experience old age.

“It’s why ageism is often described as ‘discrimination against your future self’,” he said.

What exactly is ageism?

Ageism is very common in Australia and, without realising it, most of us are at least a little bit ageist at least some of the time. Ageism is stereotyping, discrimination and mistreatment based solely upon age. When directed towards older people, it comes from negative attitudes and beliefs about what it means to be older.

You may think that here in Australia, we're not too ageist but you'd be wrong. There’s a lot more ageism in Australia than most people may realise. According to the EveryAGE Counts campaign, ageism is a big problem here because it impacts on our confidence, quality of life, job prospects, health, and control over life decisions.

The problem with ageism while it's pervasive it's also often hidden. It can distort our attitudes to older people and ageing and have profound negative impacts on our personal experience of growing older.  The impacts of ageism can prevent or limit us from contributing and participating in our communities – socially, economically and as full citizens – and even impact our physical health and longevity.

As well as its individual impacts, ageism can also deny society the enormous range of benefits that can flow, economically and socially, from the full participation of older people.

Why campaign against ageism?

Every one of us is ageing, from the moment we are born.  As a community, we can positively change thinking about ageing, re-imagine getting older and set the foundations for current and future generations to age well.

The EveryAGE Counts campaign invites you to join them in their grassroots campaign. When you go to their website you can watch the video narrated by Bryan Brown about ageism in Australia, share your story about how ageism has affected you or take the 'Am I Ageist?' quiz. If that motivates you, then you can take the 'pledge', stating that you stand for:

  •    I stand for a world without ageism where all people of all ages are valued and respected and their contributions are acknowledged.
  •    I commit to speak out and take action to ensure older people can participate on equal terms with others in all aspects of life.


What's the 'Am I ageist?' quiz about?

The 'Am I ageist?' quiz is meant to be a fun way to challenge our own negative attitudes and beliefs towards getting and being older. Because ageism has been accepted for so long, often our own biases are difficult to identify and acknowledge.

You can do the 'Am I ageist?' quiz here.

If you'd like to help to share the quiz with friends and family, feel free. Most people find it fun and interesting so have a go.

Even if you take the test and you find you do have a sight leaning towards being ageist, then this is something you can work on and learn how to address in the future. I think everyone who does the quiz will find some of the questions challenging as there are some situations where a few ageist ways of thinking come to the fore.