Ageism is one of the primary social problems affecting the second half of life. Most gerontology texts start with the definition of the following terms: ageism, myth, stereotype, attitude, prejudice and discrimination and list the following myths:
Most older adults are sick, disabled, generally in poor health, and more acute illnesses than younger adults.
Most older adults are senile and/or senility is an inevitable and untreatable mental illness among most elders.
Most older adults are socially isolated, lonely, and live alone.
Older adults are sick, useless, senile, miserable, and thus depressed.
Older adults are frail or feeble, capable of making only a limited contribution to society.