Home#SoyMayorSoyCoyComoTú: A campaign to recognize our own ageism and eliminate stereotypes about old age.

#SoyMayorSoyCoyComoTú: A campaign to recognize our own ageism and eliminate stereotypes about old age.


● Through an ageism calculator, a series of testimonials from older people and a manifesto, the #SoyMayorSoyComoTú campaign invites all citizens to reflect on discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices towards older people. 
● According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 2 people have ageist behaviors towards older people. 

On the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons, which is celebrated on October 1, Grandes Amigos, Fundación Pilares para la autonomía personal, Envejecimiento en Red, HelpAge España and Matia Fundazioa join forces to give visibility and denounce the inequality and discrimination that exists towards older people. For the fifth consecutive year, this campaign wants to remind that our dignity and rights do not diminish with the passing of the years and that age cannot measure the value of any life.

After more than a year and a half of pandemic, in which the systemic ageism that exists globally has been more evident than ever, the organizations promoting the #I'mOlderI'mLikeYou campaign point out the need to identify our own ageism and change the collective view of aging. According to the first World Ageism Report published by the World Health Organization this year, one in two people are ageist towards older people. However, few people know what ageism is or are able to identify it. We can define ageism as stereotyping (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards people based on their age. Ageism can manifest itself in multiple ways, ranging from derogatory and pejorative language to very serious violations of rights and dignity. All of this has a major impact on the lives and rights of older women and men. In fact, ageism is associated, among other things, with longer life expectancy, poorer physical and mental health, slower recovery from disability and greater cognitive impairment. In addition, ageism increases the loneliness and social isolation of older people and can increase their risk of violence and abuse.

Therefore, through this campaign, the organizations invite the population to reflect on their own prejudices and beliefs through an ageism calculator and a series of videos and testimonials in which older people talk about how they are living their aging process. 

Building a world for all ages
Everything that has happened since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that we live in an unequal society that places less value on the lives of older people and that we are still a long way from achieving real equality. For this reason, the manifesto signed by Grandes Amigos, Fundación Pilares para la autonomía personal, Envejecimiento en Red, HelpAge España and Matia Fundazioa recalls that age cannot determine the value of our lives and our dignity and that all people should be able to enjoy our rights and the highest level of quality of life without discrimination throughout all stages of our lives. 
To achieve this, the signatory organizations call for the creation of a United Nations Convention on the Rights of Older Persons, as this would help to provide a legal basis to ensure that older people, in all their diversity, can exercise their rights and enjoy dignified, full and secure lives. In addition, it is urgent to transform the care system and commit to a model of comprehensive, person-centered care that recognizes diversity, preserves identity and capabilities, favors personal autonomy and supports the continuity of life projects so that life continues to have meaning.
On the other hand, we need to support scientific research and knowledge on aging from different approaches and disciplines and support scientific dissemination activities on active aging, quality of life and gender that promote a positive image of old age and aging, away from stereotypes and false beliefs. 
In addition, it is essential to adopt initiatives and strategies that promote and facilitate the inclusion and participation of older people in the life of their immediate environment and in society in general, through volunteer projects, neighborhood networks, intergenerational actions or other initiatives that help to eliminate ageism. Finally, the organizations also remind that the effort to reduce the digital divide does not exempt public administrations and companies from the responsibility of continuing to guarantee access to basic services to any person through traditional channels.

We must act today
Demographic and sociological projections foresee a society that is much older and lonelier than today's and not very friendly to the elderly. We all want to live as long as possible and to do so in good health, with all our rights and a meaningful life. However, it is difficult for us to recognize ourselves as people who are aging due, in large part, to ageist stereotypes that associate old age with concepts such as incapacity, unproductivity or fragility. If we want to build a world for all ages, we must eliminate the stereotypes and prejudices that exist about older people and old age.