I think that the elderly are not as respected as they once were in society. I believe that there are a variety of reason for this and will examine those that I consider to be the main ones in this essay, including a brief analysis of the effects that a lack of respect for the elderly can have on society.
One reason that the elderly are not as respected nowadays is that many young people think that elderly people are incapable of doing many things. I think that this is a very unfair judgement, especially since it seems to be based almost entirely on the suppositions that the elderly are unhealthy and are not familiar with modern technology. The fact is that, as well as living longer, people are also living more healthily in their old age. Many elderly people participate in light sporting activities and it is not uncommon to see elderly people running marathons. Few elderly people are able to do intricate work with computers, but many of them can use basic programs and functions, such as e-mail. One result of this unfair judgement is that many younger people do not believe that elderly people are capable of doing much work. This has been disproven by numerous companies in the UK, some of which actively seek elderly people for their better interpersonal skills.
Another reason why the elderly are not as respected as they once were is the general lack of respect shown by many younger people nowadays towards their elders. This does not only affect the elderly, but it is a more serious issue with that age group. There has been a change in the way that people interact in society. It is hard to give a precise reason or set of reasons for this, but it probably has something to do with increasing consumerism and individualism. People appear to be becoming more selfish in their interactions with others. As far as the effects regarding the elderly, I think that this is leading to a widening of the generation gap (which has always existed).