Agency on Aging

Overview of Ageism

In 1968 Dr. Robert Butler coined the term “ageism” to describe the systematic discrimination against older people.  He equated it to racism and sexism during the Civil Rights movement.  It has been over 45 years since Dr. Butler raised this issue, yet our culture has not changed.  Ageism remains an often overlooked barrier that exists across most communities in the US. Ageism puts unfair limitations on older adults’ abilities to live to their fullest potential and devalues them as individuals.