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Stereotypes and Negative Attitudes

A number of stereotypes about aging and the abilities of older persons appear to exist and may give rise to discriminatory treatment.

What can the Commission do to raise public awareness about human rights issues related to aging and to combat these attitudinal barriers?

Age and Other Grounds of Discrimination

The Commission is examining discrimination based on intersecting or overlapping grounds as important for understanding how persons experience unequal treatment.  With respect to age discrimination, the Commission has identified two particular groups that appear to experience significant disadvantage because of a combination of historical and social factors: (1) elderly women and (2) elderly persons with disabilities.

The paper identifies several policy initiatives that can help to address the needs of all seniors and these two groups in particular:

  • Encouraging community-based services and supports to help address some of the socio-economic problems faced by seniors, and especially senior women and seniors with disabilities;
  • Promoting public transit accessibility and access to para-transit services through the review of public transit accessibility being conducted by the Commission;
  • Maintaining a high standard of ‘undue hardship’ in the Commission’s Guidelines on Assessing Accommodation Requirements for Persons with Disabilities.  This would mean that employers, service providers and others would have significant responsibilities with respect to meeting the needs of elderly persons with disabilities;
  • Encouraging the government to continue to support community-based care, rehabilitation, chronic care and complex continuing care; and
  • Recognizing the implications of age in combination with other grounds of discrimination and integrating these principles into future policy work.

Do you have any comments about any of these policy initiatives?

Based on your experience or the experience of your organization, are there other groups of older persons who experience human rights issues that you would like to tell us about?

Are there other issues related to elderly women and older persons with disabilities that you would like to draw to our attention?

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