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Experience never gets old!

In the Smart Against Ageism (SAA) learning offer, we focus on the group of older adults and want to promote awareness on the issue of discrimination based on age, also called ageism. For this purpose, interviews and desk research were conducted in the partner countries Portugal, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Bulgaria as well as in Germany. These outcomes formed the basis for the elaborated results.

What is ageism?

Ageism is a widespread but little-recognised problem. It generally refers to the unequal treatment of and discrimination against people because of their age. Ageism can be directed against people of all ages, but mainly affects children and young people as well as older and very old adults. Ageism is caused by stereotypes, legal regulations or the built environment, among other things, and leads to marginalisation and restrictions.

Definition of ageism

“Ageism refers to stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) against others or oneself because of age.”
World Health Organisation (2022)

Ageism is based on stereotypes and prejudices, just like other forms of discrimination. Based on certain characteristics, people believe they know what individuals with these characteristics are like. Thinking in categories, and imagining people as part of a certain, always homogenous group. With the SAA learning programme, we want to encourage a critical approach to this way of thinking and promote a positive counter-image of people with unique strengths and weaknesses, wishes and needs.

Why is it important to tackle ageism?

Ageism has a major impact on people and society as it affects our own self-perception and ability to participate. This has an impact on health, well-being and even lifespan. Studies show that such a negative attitude can shorten life by an average of 7.5 years.

Establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation

“Discrimination based on religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation may undermine the achievement of the objectives of the EC Treaty, in particular the attainment of a high level of employment and social protection, raising the standard of living and the quality of life, economic and social cohesion and solidarity, and the free movement of persons.”
EU Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000

What does SAA offer?

Within the SAA learning offer, we have created several incentives to reflect upon ageism directed against older adults.

SAA can help you learn more about your ideas and age assumptions. We aim to dissolve age as a deficit category and focus on the individual’s special nature. For this purpose, various learning materials have been developed, with the SAA learning game at the centre. Below you can see all contents developed within the project, when clicking on “Learning Materials”, you can also get a more in-depth description of them. If you want to get in touch or find out more about the SAA project and its partners, please have a look in the corresponding section under the “Info” menu option.