End ageism and age discrimination

Ageism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s age and is still very prevalent within society.

Ageism underpins many of the issues currently faced by older people and results in negative stereotypes, older people being treated unfairly and their rights not being respected and upheld. Ageism can also negatively influence the decisions made by society, meaning that the services, facilities and opportunities that people need to help them to age well can be inadequate and discriminate against older people.

A growing body of research indicates that ageism has a wide range of negative impacts upon older people, affecting their physical and mental health, memory function, recovery from illness, levels of social exclusion and even life expectancy.

Tackling ageism and age discrimination is therefore essential to support older people’s health and well-being and ensure that they have equality, are treated with dignity and respect, and that the contribution they make to society is both recognised and celebrated.  

It is also essential to tackle ageism if we are to make sustainable improvements in other aspects of older people’s lives.

The Commissioner will take action to:

  • Increase the recognition and understanding of the impact of ageism upon older people and society
  • Empower people to challenge ageism and age discrimination
  • Make sure that older people’s voices are listened to and acted upon, and that their legal rights are upheld
  • Improve older people’s access to training and employment
  • Tackle discrimination against older people in the workplace
  • Improve older people’s access to high quality health, care and other public services

Work during 2021-22

The issues we have seen during the pandemic relating to how older people have been treated and spoken about reflect a society where ageism is still common, and the Commissioner’s work over the last year to protect and promote older people’s rights, together with her calls for action and change across a range of issues, have been crucial in helping to ensure that older people are not discriminated against because of their age.

Ageism and age discrimination often underpin many of the issues faced by older people and have a wide range of negative impacts on older people, affecting their physical and mental health, recovery from illness, levels of social exclusion and even life expectancy.

Increasing awareness amongst the public and professionals of the impact that ageism and age discrimination has on older people will be a key part of ensuring that our recovery from Covid-19 strengthens older people’s rights and celebrates the contributions that older people make to our communities throughout Wales.

The Commissioner will be:

  • Providing training for older people and professionals to empower them to recognise and challenge ageism
  • Challenging examples of ageism and age discrimination, including the way older people are portrayed in the media
  • Working with partners – including international partners – to tackle ageist attitudes in society and promote solidarity between generations