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Ageism and Homelessness

Getting older comes with problems. Dealing with discrimination based on age can be the last thing on a person's mind. Unfortunately, as people get older, they need to consider ageism because it can ultimately be a cause of homelessness.

Signs of aging often feel like they came out of thin air. As people age, the last thing they usually expect is to be treated unfairly. The internet’s ability to quickly spread false information and reinforce bias can exacerbate this problem, causing people to disrespect older generations. 

Ageism is the act of discriminating against a group of people based on their age. It can be the reason why someone doesn’t get the promotion they deserve, doesn’t qualify for transplants, and misses opportunities that younger people would have. 

Thirty-percent of people dealing with homelessness are above the age of 50, and this population keeps growing. Factors that contribute to this issue include stagnant wages, the rising housing market, pension plans falling out, and losing jobs during recessions. The idea of health surrounds the most apparent reason for ageism and the inability to keep up. Once an older individual becomes homelessess, it is difficult to obtain a job due to ageism and health issues that present themselves later on in life. As a result, these people lack the ability to get back on their feet. 

The older that people get, the more they hear that their day-to-day issues are due to age. However, this notion is not necessarily true. Poor nutrition and an inability to visit the doctor are both issues that the elderly and unhoused individuals may have to deal with. A lack of medical care and an increase in health problems can make it harder to get out of homelessness. People dealing with homelessness have an average life expectancy of 50 years due to not having the help they need. 

It’s important to remember that getting older doesn’t always hold a person back. Recognizing that elderly workers’ capabilities can save these individuals from experiencing homelessness. Getting older is unavoidable and difficult. Starting a retirement plan at a younger age will also help prevent homelessness in the future. 

Sources: 

https://www.ageism.org/what-is-ageism/

https://online.simmons.edu/blog/aging-on-the-streets-americas-growing-older-homeless-population/

https://www.jchs.harvard.edu/blog/the-growing-problem-of-older-adult-homelessness

https://policyadvice.net/insurance/insights/homelessness-statistics/

https://www.healthline.com/health/ageism#how-it-shows-up

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