Are you ageist?

A new three-year campaign aims to tackle society-wide age bias and its detrimental impact.

unconscious biases in the workplace


The Centre for Ageing Better [CfAB] has launched a new anti-ageism campaign Age Without Limits which aims to change the way we all think about ageing, tackle prejudices and empower people to age with confidence.

To coincide with the launch, it is publishing poll results showing that those in their 50s and 60s who have experienced discrimination because of their age in the past 12 months most commonly experienced it in work (37%), followed by on social media and television, movies or news reports (32%), and as a consumer (32%).

For people aged over 70, age discrimination was most keenly felt on social media, television, movies or news reports (44%), as a consumer (43%) and in health or social care settings (29%).

Other areas of life where both age groups experienced age discrimination include social situations (highlighted by 22% of people in their 50s and 60s) and public transport (mentioned by 23% of people aged over 70).

The data also reveals that:

  • Only three in 10 members of the public think treatment of older people is good
  • Over half of people think older people are less visible than younger people in society
  • People aged over 50 living in the North East are the most likely to report age discrimination with more than half (53%) feeling badly treated because of their age in the past year. The South East has the lowest reported levels at 39% of people aged over 50.

The CfAB says at least a third of people hold ageist beliefs and that ageism is detrimental to the lives of millions of people, impacting their opportunities, livelihoods, health and mental wellbeing with a knock-on effect on our productivity and the economy.

The three-year campaign will use advertising, PR and social media to spark debate and conversation about what ageism is and to challenge the way we all think about ageing. A new website will provide information, tools and resources, including a quiz for the nation to answer the question “Are You Ageist?”. Every year, there will be an opportunity for individuals, organisations and communities across England to join Age Without Limits in a day of action.

Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “Ageism is the prejudice that’s hidden in plain sight. We see and hear casual ageism every day, it’s embedded in our society and even accepted as normal by many of us who are older.

“Ageism scars lives. It is often dismissed as being harmless, but if you look at the research, or speak to people whose lives have been affected by ageism, you will soon realise ageist ideas or beliefs can be incredibly damaging for us as individuals and for wider society.

“That is why we are launching this campaign to get the nation thinking differently about ageing, for the benefit of us all as we grow older.”

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