Royal Society for Public Health report: That Age Old Question

We’re all ageing. Yet ageism is the most commonly experienced form of prejudice and discrimination.

This is according to a report on old age by the Royal Society on Public Health (RSPH), which argues that ageism harms the public’s health.

Key points from the report include:

  • Negative attitudes about age can begin to form as young as six years old and are reinforced in a number of ways, forming a set of ageist stereotypes as we grow older
  • Ageist attitudes lead to direct age-based discrimination which can damage older people through social exclusion, impact on mental health and employment.
  • Those with more negative attitudes to ageing live on average 7.5 years less than those with more positive attitudes to ageing

It claims that there is a compelling case for a public health campaign and policy interventions to deconstruct societal drivers of ageism.

The report recommends:

  • Bringing services such as nurseries, youth clubs, and care homes under the same roof
  • Positive ageing to be addressed within schools
  • Employers and government to promote age diversity in workplaces
  • An independent review of the representation of older people in the media
  • An end to the use of the term “anti-ageing” in the cosmetics and beauty industries

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of RSPH says:

With more people reaching older age than ever before, it is crucial to act now to promote positive integration across the generations.

Read more or download the report in full (pdf).