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Digital Equity for All Ages: A Global Campaign to Combat Ageism in the Digital Age
  • Posted on 21st October, 2021
    11 Minutes read

Digital Equity for All Ages: A Global Campaign to Combat Ageism in the Digital Age

International Day of Older Persons 2021 October 1st
Digital Equity for All Ages: A Global Campaign to Combat Ageism in the Digital Age

Virtual Roundtable in the run-up to International Day of Older Persons 2021

#OlderPersonsDay #AWorld4AllAges

Venue: Zoom/ Studio room @ Rosanna
Date: Thursday 30 September 2021. 04.00 -05:15 pm
Organisers: Health Careers International (HCI)
Institute of Health & Management (IHM)
Institute of Health and Nursing Australia (IHNA)


Over the next three decades, the number of older people worldwide is projected to double, reaching over 1.5 billion people in 2050.

The theme of International Day of Older Persons 2021 is Digital Equity for All Ages; A Global campaign to combat ageism in the digital age. The International Day of Older Persons is an opportunity to highlight the significant contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness of the issues and challenges of Ageing in today’s world.

Ageism is a complex phenomenon that refers to the stereotypes of how we think, feel, and act towards others or ourselves based on age. Ageism is a global phenomenon with serious health, social, and economic consequences for individuals and society.

Ageism is everywhere, yet it is the most socially “normalised” of any prejudice and is not widely countered – like racism or sexism. It exists when the media portrays all old people as “frail” and “dependent”. It influences (subconsciously or actively) the policymaker to opt for cost containment to make appropriate adaptations and investments in infrastructure and services for ageing societies. These attitudes, pervasive yet invisible, lead to the marginalisation of older people within our communities and have negative impacts on their health and well-being.

According to the UN Global Report on Ageism, half of the world’s population demonstrate ‘ageism’ against older persons. The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light entrenched ageism and age discrimination in many areas. The UN Secretary General’s Policy Brief on COVID-19 and older persons recognised that COVID-19 escalated ageism and stigmatisation of older persons, including hate speech in public discourse and social media.

Ageism arises when age is used to categorise and divide people in ways that lead to exclusion, harm, disadvantage, injustice and erode solidarity across generations. Ageism takes on different forms across the life course. A teenager might, for instance, be ridiculed for starting a political movement; both older and younger people might be denied a job because of their age. Ageism damages our health and well-being and is a significant barrier to enact effective healthy and active ageing policies and actions.

The report of the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons to the 48th session of the HRC (A/HRC/48/53) examined and raised awareness of the prevalence of ageism and age discrimination, analyses their possible causes and manifestations. This report also reviews how the existing legal and policy frameworks at the international and regional levels protect against ageism and age discrimination.

According to the independent UN expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons Claudia Mahler (2021), little attention has been paid to the barriers experienced by older persons. The barriers include not seeking effective redress and remedies, despite reports of care homes worldwide showing neglect, isolation and lack of adequate services.

Reports of increases in gender-based violence and higher risks of violence, abuse, and neglect of older persons confined with family members and caregivers due to lockdown measures are exasperatingly high.

Claudia Mahler highlighted that entrenched ageist attitudes hinder older persons from claiming their rights and undermine their autonomy and called as a matter of urgency for access to justice by older persons.

Older people who feel they are a burden may also perceive their lives to be less valuable, putting them at risk of depression and social isolation. For example, Levy et al. (2002) research shows that older adults with negative attitudes about Ageing may live 7.5 years less than those with positive attitudes.

We at IHM are advocating for and working towards an age-friendly, just, inclusive and equitable society. We are also exploring the human resource training opportunities for addressing the issues related to Ageing.


  • Raise awareness of ageism and age discrimination;
  • To discuss how human resources training can address the issues of older persons

Ageing in the digital era, opportunities and challenges

Can age-friendly communities, public campaigns, and advocacy raise awareness and promote the participation of older persons to help fight ageism?

Agenda Panel Theme 4-5 pm
Welcome note: Kunnumpurath Bijo
Group CEO & Managing Director
4- 4.05
Moderator: Dr Robert A Townsend
Head School of Social Work
Ageism: A Social Work
Keynote speaker Prof Joe Thomas
National Course Convenor
Healthy Ageing and ageism in the Digital era: A Public Health Perspective 4.05- 4.15
Speaker: Dr. Shisir Prasad Manandhar
Manager- Research and Innovation/ Academic Director( Acting), Research and Innovation
Advances in Digital innovations for care for older persons 4.15- 4.20
Respondent: Dr Chandana Hewege
Board Of Director
Perspectives on Teaching and Training needs of Promoting Healthy Ageing and Geriatrics Care 4.20-4.24
Respondent: Prof Anthony Welch (TBC) Perspectives on Teaching and Training needs of Promoting Healthy Ageing and Geriatrics Care 4.25- 4.30
Q & A Stella Jongebreur
Nurse Educator
Concluding remarks: Prof. Kogi Naidoo
Academic Dean – IHM
Summary of the session and the way forward. 4.50-5.00

(Technical support/ Studio/ Recording/ Editing)

Issues to be covered by speakers

  • How does ageism/age discrimination affect daily life? What are the public health implications of ageism?
  • Has the COVID-19 pandemic exposed and enhanced inequalities experienced by older persons?
  • How can policies and legal frameworks help address ageism?
  • Advances in information technology, how it could assist older person to lead a healthy life
  • Public Health Perspectives on Teaching and Training needs of Promoting Healthy Ageing and Geriatrics Care

Register here

Zoom Webinar ID: 915 0783 4725

articipant ID: 229287

Click here to Register

For more details and Certificate of participation, please contact: Ms Bodhi Darshanee Rai Public Relations Officer, <>

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