Jane Seymour Talks About Being ‘Unseen’ as She Ages, Says Men ‘Look Over My Head and Find the Nearest Man’ To Talk To

The 'Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman' star talks about how she sometimes feels ignored and overlooked as she gets older. 'I just would like to be respected and heard,' she says.

<p>Andrew Toth/FilmMagic</p> Jane Seymour.

Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

Jane Seymour.

She’s a former Bond girl, a two-time Golden Globe winner, and Emmy winner, and yet, Jane Seymour says she’s felt “unseen” in society.

The actress joined a panel Wednesday hosted by actress Tina Lifford (OWN’s Queen Sugar), as part of biopharmaceutical company Insmed’s Speak Up in BE campaign, which is raising awareness about “unseenism,” a social phenomenon that devalues women in society as they age — and often leading doctors to dismiss their medical concerns, especially in cases of the chronic lung disorder BE (bronchiectasis).

According to a survey conducted by Insmed, 62% of women say they feel overlooked as they age. And 58% of women said they didn’t speak up with their doctor because their health concerns were previously ignored.

“I spoke to a lot of friends of mine and they said, ‘Yes, I am unseen, and I am unheard,’” Seymour, 73, tells PEOPLE, admitting that she too has felt unseen as she ages, especially in her day-to-day life—even though "I'm on television and and people do pay attention to me more than the average person.”

<p>Araya Doheny/Getty</p> Jane Seymour.

Araya Doheny/Getty

Jane Seymour.

“Here in my household, when something breaks down, and I call up and I say, ‘Can you help me with this?’ The man will actually look over my head and find the nearest man in the room to talk to about it. It's like I'm unseen,” says the mom of six.

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“Like excuse me, I own this house, I pay for it, I actually made the call to you,” continues Seymour. “I am the person paying you for this information. Please respect me, and let's have the conversation.”

She also addressed how unseenism can impact a woman’s health — and says she’s found a way to manage the anxiety that can come with speaking up at the doctor’s office.

“I get that ‘doctor's nervous’ thing, even though I'm a doctor's daughter and I played one on TV,” says the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman star. “I always either have someone else with me to take notes, or I've just asked for permission to record it, because I don't always take it in at the time that I'm told it. And I don't want to be told, ‘Oh, you're losing it. Maybe we should check you for dementia, or you're not listening, or you're just an older woman. That's what happens in life.'”

<p>CBS via Getty</p> Jane Seymour on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, in 1993.

CBS via Getty

Jane Seymour on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, in 1993.

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Seymour encourages women to go to the doctor with a prepared “cheat sheet” of questions. “You need to self-advocate," she says. "Ask the questions you want answers to.”

“I love being a woman, I don't say that I want to be a man at all,” she adds. “But I just would like to be respected and heard; I think when you get older they kind of look at you like, 'Oh well, she's past her prime. She's a little old woman, she's not important.'”

Related: Jane Seymour Says Sex with Boyfriend John Zambetti Is 'More Wonderful and Passionate Than Anything' Before

“I'm 73 and I don't feel old,” she adds, “I realize that the rest of the world probably looks and goes, ‘Ohh, that's old.’ What I want to do is redefine it.”

“It's not old," Seymour tells PEOPLE. "That is wisdom on two legs.”

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