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.