Pam Geyer— International Liberation Reference Person for Elders


Elder oppression affects everyone who lives long enough. It is important to work on it earlier in our lives. To do so benefits those of us who are already elders as well as those of us who will become elders later.


The following are four major issues for elders:


Maintaining our health is crucial to living a good and long life. As we get older, lack of good health often makes us slow down, cut back on activities, and instead do things that are “easy.” We don’t yet know for sure which changes are due to biological aging and which are the result of accumulated distress. We do have evidence that discharging on physical changes helps us live longer, healthier lives. It is also useful to work on health by discharging early defeats.

Elder oppression

Our cultures and societies generally devalue us as we get older. For example, older people often get ignored.

Elder oppression begins early in our lives and continues as the years tick by—through our thirties, forties, and fifties—so by the time we are sixty, most of us have internalized it.

We elders face elder oppression on a daily basis. We need to figure out elegant ways of contradicting it. Interrupting any oppression can be difficult, especially at first. Interrupting elder oppression is hard in part because most of us had parents, grandparents, and others who “modeled” its effects.

Having allies

Oppression is more easily interrupted by those who are not experiencing it. Thus it’s to our advantage to not become separated from younger people as we age. And being our allies is an advantage to younger people. If all goes well, they will someday be elders, and they can prepare for their own future by interrupting elder oppression now.

Fears of ill health and dying

Fear diminishes our ability to live fully. As elders we are often afraid of becoming frail, losing friends to death, and dying ourselves. Many of us fear “sliding downward” mentally and physically. However, if we live in the present, take care of ourselves, discharge fear and other distresses, and learn new things, we can live each day to our full potential.


There have been more and more elders’ workshops, and whenever possible elders and allies have joined together at a gather-in beforehand. The number of elders’ support groups is also increasing.

We are trying to replace the term ageism with the more appropriate elder oppressionAgeism can refer to any age group. Elder oppression is specific to people over fifty—an age chosen because it’s when the oppression usually becomes obvious.

A goal is to have an elders’ conference within the next few years. I also aim to get elders prepared to do more on the environment. I address environmental issues in my workshops and classes.

Pam Geyer

International Liberation Reference Person for Elders

Bellaire, Texas, USA

(Present Time 188, July 2017)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00