HealthDay News — The majority of older U.S. adults commonly experience ageism in their daily lives, according to a report published online July 13 based on the results of the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Preeti Malani, M.D., from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation in Ann Arbor, and colleagues surveyed a national sample of 2,048 adults (aged 50 to 80 years) about their experiences with different forms of everyday ageism, positive views on aging, and health.

The researchers found that the vast majority of respondents (82 percent) regularly experienced one or more forms of everyday ageism (including hearing, seeing, and/or reading jokes about aging or that older adults and aging are unattractive or undesirable) in their daily lives. One-third (36 percent) internalized ageism (e.g., agreeing that feeling lonely or feeling depressed, sad, or worried are a normal part of getting older). Older adults who reported experiencing three or more forms of everyday ageism in their daily lives also had worse physical and mental health than those reporting exposure to fewer forms of ageism. Two-thirds of older adults said that as they have gotten older, their feelings about aging have become more positive (67 percent) and their life is better than they thought it would be (65 percent).

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“Addressing everyday ageism may have far-reaching benefits for the health and well-being of older adults,” the authors write.

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