Ageism for the purpose of this discussion will refer to stereotyping, discriminatory and oppressive practices towards the older population, those individuals over age fifty. Public policy, health careers, and social programs within contextual framework of our society’s norms are influenced by negative attitudes towards aging. The definition of ageism is, “stereotypes which are generalized beliefs or opinions based in individual experience, often produced by irrational thinking. Stereotyping whether direct or subtle is usually inaccurate, emotional impressions, and not based on objective information” (Hillier & Barrow, 2011, p.32). Some stereotypes are older people are poor, unhealthy, and unable to learn new technology.
For instance, “the Detroit syndrome is a media term that describes an older person in terms of being obsolete” (Hiller & Barrow, 2011b, p. 12). Over generalization, attitudes such as old people are narrow-minded, set in ...view middle of the document...
The target market for the technology is aimed at the younger demographic audience. For example, think about just how seldom older people are used in advertising for computers and smart phones. Because of stereotypical ageist, images do not reflect a youthful persona (Pew & Van Hemel, 2004) images can adversely affect how products are marketed, advertised, and distributed for sale. If advertisers would consider targeting an older audience, using images suited to older demographics ageist and stereotypical attitudes could be dispelled. Barriers that keep older persons from adopting new technologies when they are introduced to the marketplace would prove beneficial for all citizens in society (Cutler, 2005).
When products are in the research and design phase characteristics of the aging process is seldom considered. Older persons typically have less hand and finger agility than younger people. In addition, older eyesight may not be as keen as younger eyes. Mistakenly, older people are thought to be incapable or uninterested in adopting technology because these features are not taken into consideration with the design of products. This can become a self-fulfilling prophecy (Culter, 2005b).
Culturally competent companies, business leaders, engineers, and designers will be needed to move technology into the future where it is accessible to all age groups. Universal designs will be needed for products. Technology is part of everyday life in developing countries and even extending to less developed countries. The graying of society at large across the globe in the 21st century presents many opportunities for continued growth. Technological devices, computer hardware and software are constantly changing as too are cultures, societies around the world. We have seen many advancements in society reflecting many schools of thought with how to delivery local, state, national, and global social and healthcare services. Migration and immigration patterns across the globe are calling for a greater degree of professionalism with understanding multiculturalism. Society and healthcare delivery are once again changing because of diversity.