You are here: Home / Ageism / Ageism: The Path to Elder Abuse Ageism: The Path to Elder Abuse JANUARY 17, 2011 BY JACK HALPERN 1 COMMENT ageism2.gif By Jack Halpern The number of Americans 60 and older is growing, but society still isn't embracing the aging population, geropsychologists say. Whether battling "old geezer" stereotypes or trying to obtain equal standing in the workplace, those who are 60 or older may all too often find themselves the victims of ageism. Fueling the problem is the media's portrayal of older adults. Technorati Tags: Elder Rage, Ageism, Elder Abuse At a Senate hearing last fall, experts testified before the Special Committee on Aging about the effects of age stereotypes. Doris Roberts, the Emmy-award winning actress in her seventies from the television show "Everybody Loves Raymond," also testified at the hearing. "My peers and I are portrayed as dependent, helpless, unproductive and demanding rather than deserving," Roberts testified. "In reality, the majority of seniors are self-sufficient, middle-class consumers with more assets than most young people, and the time and talent to offer society." The world of aging portrayed in the mass media has not traditionally been an enjoyable or positive one. Old people today are generally not appreciated as experienced "elders" or possessors of special wisdom; they are simply seen as sometimes remaining competent enough to be included in the unitary role category of "active citizen." Old people are respected to the extent that they can behave like young people, that is, to the extent that they remain capable of working, enjoying sex,...