Resources Rationale


In the Green Party, caucuses function as Identity Caucuses: “a grouping of Greens, not explicitly ideological in nature, that has historically failed to attain adequate access to power in society at-large and/or within the Green movement.  Caucuses help bring greater diversity to the Green Party, and help ensure that the Green Party is hearing from historically under-represented people and taking up their concerns and needs”.


Definition of under-representation at


verb (used with object)

  1. to give inadequate representation to; represent in numbers that are disproportionately low.”

There are two parts to this definition.  We believe that most important aspect of this definition is the inadequacy of representation of seniors.  We provide research, information and articles below to further substantiate our position.


Fact Sheet:  Aging in the United States – summary points

Population Reference Bureau’s (PRB) Population Bulletin, “Aging in the United States,” examines recent trends and disparities among adults ages 65 and older, and how baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 are reshaping America’s older population.
The current growth of the population ages 65 and older, driven by the large the baby boom generation, is unprecedented in U.S. history. As they have passed through each major stage of life, baby boomers (between ages 55 and 73 in 2019) have brought both challenges and opportunities to the economy, infrastructure, and institutions.
These key findings from the report were updated in June 2019 with the latest available data.

Demographic Shifts

  • The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060,
  • The 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise from 16 percent to 23 percent.
  • The older population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. Between 2018 and 2060 the share of the older population that is non-Hispanic white is projected to drop from 77 percent to 55 percent.
  • The more rapidly changing racial/ethnic composition of the population under age 18 relative to those ages 65 and older has created a diversity gap between generations.
  • Older adults are working longer. By 2018, 24 percent of men and about 16 percent of women ages 65 and older were in the labor force. These levels are projected to rise further by 2026, to 26 percent for men and 18 percent for women.
  • Many parts of the country—especially counties in the rural Midwest—are aging in place because disproportionate shares of young people have moved elsewhere.


  • Obesity rates among adults ages 60 and older have been increasing, standing at about 41 percent in 2015-2016.
  • Wide economic disparities are evident across different population subgroups. Among adults ages 65 and older, 17 percent of Latinos and 19 percent of African Americans lived in poverty in 2017—more than twice the rate among older non-Hispanic whites (7 percent).
  • More older adults are divorced compared with previous generations. The share of divorced women ages 65 and older increased from 3 percent in 1980 to 14 percent in 2018, and for men from 4 percent to 11 percent during the same period.
    Over one-fourth (26 percent) of women ages 65 to 74 lived alone in 2018. This share jumped to 39 percent among women ages 75 to 84, and to 55 percent among women ages 85 and older.
  • The aging of the baby boom generation could fuel more than a 50 percent increase in the number of Americans ages 65 and older requiring nursing home care, to about 1.9 million in 2030 from 1.2 million in 2017.
  • Demand for elder care will also be driven by a steep rise in the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, which could more than double by 2050 to 13.8 million, from 5.8 million today.
    The large share of older adults also means that Social Security and Medicare expenditures will increase from a combined 8.7 percent of gross domestic product today to 11.8 percent by 2050.
    Policymakers can improve the outlook for the future by reducing current gaps in education, employment, and earnings among younger workers.

Poverty Among the Population Aged 65 and Older – Congressional Research Service – summary points

  • People aged 80 and older have a higher poverty rate than other aged people. Approximately 11.1%of people aged 80 and older lived in poverty, compared with poverty rates of 9.2% among individuals aged 75-79, 7.4% among those aged 70-74, and 8.4% among those aged 65-69.
  • Women aged 80 and older had the highest poverty rate among older women and men in all age groups at 13.6% for women aged 80 and older.
  • Individuals aged 65 and older who were not married at the time of the survey generally had a higher poverty rate than those who were married and living together with spouses.
  • Among women aged 65 and older, about 14.4% of widows,15.8% of divorced women, and 16.9% of never-married women had total incomes below the official poverty threshold compared with 4.7% of married women.
  • Among individuals aged 65 and older, poverty rates were also high among never-married men at  18.6%.
  • Poverty rates vary by race and Hispanic origin. Hispanic origin is distinct from race, and people may identify with one or more races.
  • In 2019, the poverty rate was 18.0%among those identifying as Black or African American compared with 17.1% for those identifying as Hispanics, 9.3% for the Asian population, and 6.8% for the non-Hispanic White population.


Access Disparity and Health Inequality of the Elderly: Unmet Needs and Delayed Healthcare

“This empirical study concludes unmet needs of prescription drugs for the elderly population have positive influence on the perceived delay in healthcare and perceived unmet needed healthcare. These factors are disproportionally large in the population among the poor (low income) elderly. These three factors raise evaluated ill health status, ranging between 45%~60% among the elderly population. Other interesting findings are that out-of-pocket medical costs elevate perceived unmet needed healthcare and delayed healthcare, and the high out-of-pocket costs raise disproportionally large perceived unmet needed healthcare for elderly population. Our findings also offer insight into the patient-physician relation mechanism. Patient’s distrust and dissatisfaction increase perceived unmet needed healthcare and delay in healthcare.

Policy makers need to address a diverse amount of issues to make the healthcare more affordable and accessible to reduce inequality of healthcare burden, which in turn lead to health disparity, under the current system. This research reinforces and extends the findings of a previous study for issues concerning health insurance, race, income and satisfaction; and for health insurance and race related aspects.”

Age discrimination in the U.S. labor market is a major economic obstruction

“The increase in older workers makes age discrimination a problem of growing significance. Age discrimination in hiring, in firing, and on the job is revealed by a variety of research and reports. A recent paper by David Neumark of the University of California, Irvine finds ample evidence of discrimination in hiring by using confidential data about two different hiring processes used by employers in a single restaurant chain.”

Aged people are too often ignored and denied their full human rights

“Older people have the same rights as others. Because of their vulnerability they need special protection and already the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated specifically that elderly persons have the right to security. Many of the subsequent human rights treaties stipulate basic rights for aged people, one example is the revised European Social Charter. However, the rights of old persons are still often ignored and sometimes totally denied. They suffer from widespread perceptions that they are non-productive and worthless in modern society. It is time for a more constructive debate on how human rights for the older generation can be ensured.”

Ageism is a Global Challenge: UN

“Ageism costs our societies billions of dollars. In the United States of America (USA), a 2020 study showed ageism in the form of negative age stereotypes and self-perceptions led to excess annual costs of US$63 billion for the eight most expensive health conditions. This amounts to US$1 in every US$7 spent on these conditions for all Americans over the age of 60 for one year “

Ageism Is Fueling This Pandemic

“When the affected population is elders, the problem is especially bad: As we’ve already seen with the current crisis, many people say that elders are dying anyway and tend to blame old age itself for their deaths—not a flawed system.”

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

“The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. It does not protect workers under the age of 40, although some states have laws that protect younger workers from age discrimination.”

The State of Age Discrimination and Older Worker in the U.S. 50 Years after the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

“The perception that age discrimination exists in our workplaces is prevalent. More than 6 in 10 workers age 45 and older say they have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. Of those, 90 percent say it is somewhat or very common, according to a 2017 survey. In another survey in 2015, more than 3 of 4 older workers said their age was an obstacle to finding a job.”

“In the first years of ADEA enforcement, yearly charge filings with DOL ranged from just over 1,000 to over 5,000. The EEOC assumed responsibility for the ADEA in 1979, ADEA charges jumped most significantly in 1983, increasing by 67 percent from the previous year, which was also two times the percentage increase of other types of charge filings in 1983. ADEA charges filed with the EEOC reached an all-time high of 24,582 in fiscal year 2008.”

“Research shows that older workers’ continued denial of equal opportunity often derives from negative stereotypes. Indeed, there is strong “evidence that age bias and negative age stereotypes about older workers continue to affect older workers’ employment experiences.”

“The financial and emotional harm of age discrimination on older workers and their families is significant. Once an older worker loses a job, she will likely endure the longest period of unemployment compared to other age groups and will likely take a significant pay cut if she becomes re-employed.[188] The loss of a job has serious long-term financial consequences as older workers often must draw down their retirement savings while unemployed, and are likely to suffer substantial losses in income if they become re-employed.”

American Psychological Association “Fighting Ageism” 2003 

“Not only are negative stereotypes hurtful to older people, but they may even shorten their lives, finds psychologist Becca Levy, PhD, assistant professor of public health at Yale University. In Levy’s longitudinal study of 660 people 50 years and older, those with more positive self-perceptions of aging lived 7.5 years longer than those with negative self-perceptions of aging. The study appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 83, No. 2).”

American Society on Aging – “Developing a Research Agenda to Combat Ageism”  (2015)

“Research also has shown that awareness of negative stereotypes undermines
cognitive performance (Chasteen et al., 2006), and that holding negative
beliefs about aging is associated with relatively shorter life expectancies and
poorer health over time (Levy, 2003). Aside from these important findings,
however, relatively little is known about the ways ageism manifests in
everyday life. Compared with the immense amount of literature on racism and
sexism, surprisingly little empirical research has been conducted on the
ramifications of ageism.”

Determinants of Ageism Against Older Adults: A Systematic Review (2020): “Ageism is one of the major threats to active ageing and manifests itself on a range of domains from individual to institutional and cultural levels [2]. Tackling ageism should be a priority for policy makers, and it seems obvious from our findings that a campaign to combat ageism will necessarily need to consider factors spanning different levels/domains in order to be successful. We believe our review will support these efforts by helping to identify major factors that have been empirically and robustly demonstrated to contribute to negative visions of ageing and older people. At the same time, we also hope this work may entice further research bridging the research gaps our integrated appraisal of the literature highlighted.”

Discrimination against older people needs attention

“We have a rapidly aging population in Canada that will jump from 19 per cent of the current population to 26 per cent in 11 years, but we’re afraid of that fact. Based on ageism, we think they’re a drain on society, and that’s where a lot of the myths and long-standing prejudices arise.”

Elder or Dependent Adult Neglect

EEOC  Fact Sheet on Age Discrimination (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)

Forbes – “The Supreme Court Turns Its Back On Age Discrimination”  – (Direct link to Supreme Court case Grossv.FBL financial SErvices, Inc., 2009:

“The Supreme Court’s June 26th decision to let stand a lower court ruling known as Villarreal v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. In that case, Richard Villarreal applied online for a territory sales manager job at the tobacco company in 2007 when he was 49 and got no response. Several years later, he learned about the company’s internal guidelines stating that the ideal candidate would be “2–3 years out of college.” Job reviewers were told to “stay away from” applicants whose resumés showed they had been “in sales for 8–10 years.” The courts dismissed Villarreal’s suit saying the ADEA claim he brought only protected existing employees, not job applicants. The courts also agreed with Reynolds that Villarreal hadn’t “diligently” pursued why he didn’t hear back about his application.”

The ignored elderly: We’ve become invisible to society say half of over 65s

The Journals of Gerontology – “Ageism Comes of Age” – 2015 

  • “Ageism results in discrimination against older workers.
  • The increasing ratio of retired to employed workers is partly due to ageism and represents an increasing loss of productive capacity in our nation.
  • Ageism, like racism, sexism, and heterosexism, is a civil rights issue and should not be tolerated in an equalitarian society.”

Making Age Positive

2014 article by Linda P. Fried, dean and the DeLamar Professor at the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, which outlines the research behind social perceptions of the elderly.

“Between 1990 and 2010, the percentage of people 65 and older in the workforce increased from 12.1 percent to 16.1 percent. Today, adults 55 and older are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce. But rather than viewing this as a potential opportunity for economic growth, many people fear that more adults in the workforce will block opportunities sought by younger people.

A comparison can be made to the 1970s’ labor force, which saw the advent of large numbers of women into work areas traditionally seen as men’s domains. Many feared that women would take jobs away from men who needed them. In fact, these fears were not borne out; the increased employment and resulting disposable income fueled economic growth and generated the development of many new industries and jobs. Similarly, rather than being a drag on the economy, several studies suggest that older workers help to increase the nation’s economic strength and do not take jobs away from young people. There is potential for multiple positive, multigenerational outcomes here.”

National Center on Elder Abuse

  • The aging population is becoming increasingly racially and ethnically diverse. In 2018, minority populations accounted for 23% of all older adults. Approximately 9% were non-Hispanic African Americans, 5% Asian, 0.5% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and 0.8% of adults 65 and older identified as being of two or more races. Individuals of Hispanic origin constituted 8% of older Americans. The percentage of diverse Americans is projected to rise to 34% by 2040.
  • Elder mistreatment typically takes one of five forms: physical abuse, psychological or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and neglect.[44] As with the broader definition of elder mistreatment, understandings of specific types of maltreatment may vary. They are often impacted and informed by socio-cultural orientations and may be differently construed by diverse constituencies and individuals.
  • Abuse in the Community: Studies have found that at least one in 10 community-dwelling older adults experienced some form of abuse in the prior year. Global estimates from a recent meta-analysis reflect that one in six elders, or 15.7%, in the community experienced past year abuse.
  •  ​Abuse in Institutions: Few studies have investigated the prevalence of mistreatment within institutions. Those that have been conducted have provided wide-ranging, sometimes disparate estimates. A recent systematic review that collected self-reports of abuse by residents found high levels of institutional abuse. By type, prevalence estimates reported: psychological abuse (33.4%), physical (14.1%), financial (13.8%), neglect (11.6%), and sexual abuse (1.9%).

National Council on Aging – “Economic Security for Seniors Facts” – Some statistics on poverty included in the list below (the rest of the article cites statistics on income and employment, debt and savings, health and nutrition and housing. 

  • Over 15 million (or roughly 1 in 3) older adults aged 65+ are economically insecure, with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2018)
  • Older women are more likely to live in poverty than men as a result of wage discrimination and having to take time out of the workforce for caregiving. (Justice in Aging, 2020)
  • Over half of Black and Hispanic seniors aged 65+ have incomes below 200% of the Federal poverty line. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2018)
  • Over 14.8 million, or 4 in 10, older adults are lifted out of poverty by obtaining Social Security benefits. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2020)
  • More accurate measures of economic well-being—including the Elder Index™ and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy’s Senior Financial Stability Index—show millions of older adults struggling to meet their monthly expenses, even though they’re not considered “poor” because they live above the FPL.

National Institute on Aging  

The National Institute on Aging (NIA): Strategic  Directions for Research, 2020-2025: Outlines the broad strategic research goals of the NIA, in the areas of:

  • Better understand the biology of aging and its impact on the prevention,
    progression, and prognosis of disease and disability.
  • Better understand the effects of personal, interpersonal, and societal factors on
    aging, including the mechanisms through which these factors exert their effects.
  • Develop effective interventions to maintain health, well-being, and function and
    prevent or reduce the burden of age-related diseases, disorders, and disabilities.
  • Improve our understanding of the aging brain, Alzheimer’s disease, related
    dementias, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Develop interventions to address Alzheimer’s and other age-related neurological conditions.
  • Improve our understanding of the consequences of an aging society to inform
    intervention development and policy decisions.
  • Understand health disparities related to aging and develop strategies to improve the health status of older adults in diverse populations.
  • Support the infrastructure and resources needed to promote high-quality

Direct link to the pdf document

National Poll on Healthy Aging – Everyday Ageism and  Health

From Medical News Today:, What is Ageism and How Does it Affect Health? “Data from the 2020 National Poll on Healthy Aging found that 82% of older Americans reported experiencing ageism regularly. The survey found that:

  • 65% experienced ageist messages from the media
  • 45% experienced interpersonal ageism
  • 36% had internalized ageism”

Overlooked and Underestimated: Experiences of Ageism in Young, Middle-Aged, and Older Adults

“Young adults most commonly reported experiencing ageism in the workplace with coworkers as perpetrators. Middle-aged and older adults also reported ageism in the workplace; however, they also frequently reported experiencing ageism while seeking goods and services. Perpetrators of ageism varied more widely for middle-aged and older adults. Regardless of one’s age, ageism was commonly experienced in the form of a lack of respect or incorrect assumptions.”

Seniors decry age bias, say they feel devalued when interacting with health care providers

“Ageism occurs when people face stereotypes, prejudice or discrimination because of their age. The assumption that all older people are frail and helpless is a common, incorrect stereotype. Prejudice can consist of feelings such as “older people are unpleasant and difficult to deal with.” Discrimination is evident when older adults’ needs aren’t recognized and respected or when they’re treated less favorably than younger people.”

Workplace Age Discrimination Still Flourishes in America

World Health Organization – resource pages on Ageism, ageing and health

World Population Aging-UN:

The global population aged 60 years or over numbered 962 million in 2017, more than twice as large as in 1980 when there were 382 million older persons worldwide. The number of older persons is expected to double again by 2050, when it is projected to reach nearly 2.1 billion.

As the average age of populations continues to rise, Governments should implement policies to address the needs and interests of older persons, including those related to housing, employment, health care, social protection, and other forms of intergenerational solidarity. By anticipating this demographic shift, countries can proactively enact policies to adapt to an ageing population, which will be essential
to fulfill the pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that “no one will be left behind”.