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Most older adults face biases, but view aging positively, University of Michigan poll finds

senior couple holding hands, wearing backpacks

A joke about how to use a smartphone. A wink between colleagues about a current pop culture reference. Unneeded help with routine tasks.

Those are some of the ways older people experience ageism. 

The University of Michigan looked at bias against older people and other quality of life issues in its National Poll on Healthy Aging, which has just been released.

Dr. Preeti Malani is U of M’s chief health officer and director of the group that worked on the poll. She spoke with Michigan Radio's Doug Tribou about the findings. (You can hear the full interview at the top of this page.)

Highlights from the National Poll on Healthy Aging

  • Number of people polled: 2,048 across the U.S.

  • Age range: 50 to 80 

  • Percentage of respondents who experience ageism in everyday life: 82%

  • Routinely experience three or more types of ageism: 40%

  • Commonly exposed to ageist messaging in print or video: 65%

  • Think life is better at their age than they'd expected: 65%

Read more: 

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Doug Tribou joined the Michigan Public staff as the host of Morning Edition in 2016. Doug first moved to Michigan in 2015 when he was awarded a Knight-Wallace journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
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