Written by Lim Sia Hoe.
Ageism is a concern
Ageism is a Concern
The Institute of Policy Studies’ report “Results from the Perception and Attitudes towards Ageing and Seniors Survey (2013/2014)” found that 4.8% of its respondents had often/very often been treated badly because of their age in the past year (refer to Table 3.16: Experience With Ageism reproduced below).
If this survey sample is representative of the 1,067,800 Singapore residents in the same age group (50-74 years old), then 51,254 of them can be expected to have faced such age discrimination in the past year alone. By contrast, the number of theft and related crimes reported in 2013 is 17,075. While victims of theft lose their tangible valuables, victims of age discrimination are robbed of their dignity. No one deserves to be insulted, abused or have his or her services refused because of ageism.
As a nation that is striving to build a gracious society, we cannot ignore ageism, its negative impact, and the role that each of us can play to minimize it. One way to start is by creating awareness among our younger generation that ageism is a real problem in Singapore. The Government, for instance, could provide more funding towards workplace training that corrects ageist stereotypes and practices. Companies could undertake a proactive stance by highlighting the anti-age discrimination measures that they have implemented. Given Singapore’s rapidly-ageing population, the national task of tackling ageism should take on renewed urgency.
 Source: Table 3.3 Mid-Year Estimates of Singapore Residents by Age Group and Sex, Yearbook of Statistics Singapore 2014.
 Source: Annex A Breakdown of Overall Crime by Crime Classes and Crime Rate, Annual Crime Brief 2013, Singapore Police Force News Release (Updated on 7 Oct 2014).