Friday, July 31, 2020

Kill Elder Abuse by Slaying Elder Stereotypes

An Aggression and Violent Behavior research review article to be published soon analyzes how stereotypes about elderly adults provoke abuse of them. The authors, from Nova Southeastern University, note the substantial climb in rates of elder abuse in the U.S. and in other countries which have tracked the problem. The climbs can’t be accounted for just by the increases in numbers of seniors. The evidence is that frictions between the old and the younger because of stereotypes, perhaps aggravated by the increases in the numbers of seniors, are involved.
     The core of the stereotypes causing elder abuse is a dimension running between intellectual competence and emotional warmth. In all realms of life, consumers subconsciously feel organizations, products, and people that are more competent are less warm. Nonprofits are seen as more warm and less competent than profit-making organizations. A broadly smiling face on an item or salesperson detracts from competence impressions. Politicians perceived as highly empathic tend to be perceived as less businesslike.
     The researchers see that across cultures which vary in other respects, the elderly are often stereotyped as having high warmth and low competence. In most younger people, this elicits pity, or at least sympathy. But in those who are exploitive, the reaction is neglect. “They won’t notice we’re not taking care of them, and even if they do notice, they no longer have the skills to demand changes.”
     But when it comes to elderly stereotypes, the dimension is warped and folds back on itself. Some who are relatively younger assume those of advanced age are low in both warmth and competence. Seniors can indeed be stubborn. Rather than respecting this as a sign of resolve borne of long experience, it can be seen as evidence of meanness and denseness. The elderly adult with dementia could be frightened. But it doesn’t mean this individual is cruel or stupid, and it’s inaccurate to apply valid experiences with one individual to stereotype a whole group.
     Seeing the elderly as stubborn builds anger. The research analysis indicates this can potentiate contempt and disgust, which lead to dehumanization, which in turn gives justification for abuse, including physical violence. Stereotype can kill.
     An important revelation in the researchers’ analysis is how elderly adults stereotype themselves, opening themselves up to abuse by others. Among those we persuade to slay their distorted views of the capabilities of the elderly should be the elderly themselves.

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

Click for more…
Keep Smiles for Your Face, Not Your Emoticons
Attack with Credibility
Negotiate with the Stubbornness of Old Age
Forget Stereotypes of Seniors’ Memory Deficits

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