A person who hired me for odd-jobs when I was 26 years old once said he hired me because I'd be more likely to do what I'm told and do the job his way than some grizzled, 40 year old who insisted on doing things his own way. This is ageism, and it's unfair, but the best we can do is know that it exists and do what we can to avoid it.
There are many reasons why employers like to hire young people. Young people are generally more malleable, like clay, and are easier for employers to mold them into the type of person who fits the corporate culture. Additionally, employers know that younger people are more likely to defer judgement to older, more experienced colleagues; as a result, an employer knows that a younger candidate is more likely to "do what she's told".
In addition, younger workers are more energetic, and are more likely to bring that energy and enthusiasm to the work environment. What's more, this energy is more likely to be used to learn new things. The ability to learn and adapt is an attribute many employers look for, especially with knowledge workers.
Take focus off of age and place it on skills
However, this is a stereotype, and you shouldn't allow yourself to be limited by preconceived notions about your age. Thus, take all of the focus off of your age and place it solely on skills and experiences that demonstrate your youthful ability to learn new things, adapt, and work with others. Being a recent college graduate at 53, you've more than likely spent quite a bit of time working with young people, and this should help prepare you to work with them.
Use a functional-style resume to focus on skills, not timeline
Now, since you haven't been to any interviews, I wonder how the interviewers could possibly know you're 53? If you're applying for entry level positions, it may be helpful to use a more functional resume style, which can help hide your work history and possibly avoid people "dating" you by looking at the resume. This can also help prevent you looking "overqualified" for the position. A functional resume allows you to focus only on the skills you wish to present while taking the focus away from the fact that you entered the workforce over 30 years ago.
Use your youthful college experience to your advantage
Lastly, use those college experiences to your advantage. If there were any projects you worked on with others, consider highlighting these on your resume. This will take the focus off your age and help recruiters mentally place you in the same buckets as 22 year old, bright-eyed graduates. After all, having a degree at 53 proves you're still quite capable of enthusiastically learning new things!
Attend career fairs and networking events
If you're finding trouble with a certain recruiting agency or temp agency, try using another service who understands and is willing to meet your needs. Also, try applying for jobs directly, attend career fairs, and attend networking events.
The networking events are perhaps the most important: I got both my current job and my last job through networking events and career fairs. You never know who you might strike up a conversation with who knows someone who wants to hire someone with your skills!
Finally, I want to add that we hire people of all ages. There are people in their 40's, 50's, and 60's who we've hired who are excited to work with us and learn new things. It was this enthusiasm, that youthful energy, that helped them land the job. Stay positive, and you'll succeed!