News

Commissioner launches campaign to tackle everyday ageism

22.10.19

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has launched a new campaign to highlight and challenge the everyday ageism faced by older people.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the ways that ageism impacts upon older people and society, and change attitudes so that the ageism that older people face everyday is no longer seen as being acceptable.

The Commissioner wants older people and the public to share examples of the ageism they have seen or encountered, so she can challenge and hold to account those who use ageist language, perpetuate ageist stereotypes, or discriminate against older people.

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:

“Despite a growing understanding of other forms of prejudice and discrimination, and the impact these have on individuals and society, ageism is widespread and is often seen as being acceptable.

“Every day, we are bombarded with ageist language and imagery that reinforces stereotypes about older people that are often focused on ill-health, decline and frailty, and growing older is often presented as something that should be feared rather than celebrated.

“This leads to a society in which we see age discrimination in the workplace, within health, social care, and other key public services, as well as across the media and advertising.

“A growing body of research demonstrates the many ways that ageism negatively impacts upon older people, affecting their physical and mental health, recovery from illness, levels of social exclusion and even life expectancy.

“Tackling ageism is therefore essential, which is why today I have launched my Everyday Ageism campaign – to highlight just how prevalent ageism is across society and the significant impact it has, alongside robustly challenging examples of ageism that I have identified, and those that are shared with me as part of the campaign."

To support the campaign, the Commissioner has developed an #EverydayAgeism Campaign hub, which provides a range of helpful information and resources about identifying and tackling ageism, useful facts and figures and case studies that illustrate older people’s experiences.

The Commissioner has also developed a new information guide aimed at older people – Taking Action Against Ageism – and will also be delivering a series of workshops to help them to identify ageism and empower them to challenge it.

The Commissioner added:

“Ending ageism must be a priority across society and I am looking forward to working with older people, public bodies, third sector organisations, business and the wider public to highlight and challenge everyday ageism. By working together we have an opportunity to change attitudes and tackle the ageism that underpins many of the issues faced by older people today."

ENDS