Agency

Reflections of Agency at Tate Modern

“Armed with a dedicated group of volunteers, our Age Allies stall offered the chance for members of the public to reflect on what they’d witnessed at Agency and to explore their assumptions and understanding of the ageing process.”

Last month we headed to Tate Modern to take part in AGENCY: Art, Ageing and Transition, an intergenerational arts display. Find out how we got on!

Age Allies Chris and Vanda leading the exercises at LSBU.

Age Allies in Action at LSBU

Our Age Allies programme provides free age-awareness workshops to organisations and businesses across London, thanks to funding from the City Bridge Trust. The half-day workshops have been developed in collaboration with a group of older Londoners known as the Age Allies and are designed to help participants identify their own unconscious attitudes and assumptions about older people.

Last week, the Age Allies went on tour, heading down to London South Bank University (LSBU) to showcase some of the exercises that take place during the workshops. Our Age Ally Chris tells us more:

Ageing without children in hospital.

Ageing Without Children in Hospital

“The stories of those without family in hospital are rarely heard, rarely actively sought out. In almost all cases complaints about treatment are raised by family members, if you don’t have a family, there is no one to raise complaints. An older person, ill, isolated and worried in hospital with little or no external visitors is not likely to “make a fuss”. As far as we know there has been no research targeted at finding out about the experiences of people ageing without children in hospital.”

We accept without question that if an older person requires treatment, it is undeniably better for them and for the hospital, that they have their family with them. But what about those who are ageing without children? Kirsty Woodard explains all:

Age/ncy: Age Allies at TATE Modern

In 1969, the psychiatrist Dr. Robert N. Butler coined the term ‘ageism’ to denote the way society denies older people the opportunities to pursue life, to reinvent themselves.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the anti-ageism movement, Age UK London’s Age Allies programme will join Flourishing Lives in the creation of ‘Age/ncy’ – an intergenerational arts installation at TATE Modern that will shatter sedate stereotypes of ageing and older people.

The free event will run from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April at Tate Modern, in the Tate Exchange area on the Fifth floor of their new Blavatnik building.

Blame of older people

Older people are always to blame aren’t they?

“…The second challenge is to call out those people who use criticising older people by blaming them, as ammunition in political arguments or just simply to get attention. I used the word “lazy” earlier on because it is true – it is so easy to categorise a group in society and blame them (and to be fair, young people get a rough deal thought this too), and social media tends to magnify these views in a way that has never been possible before. It is easy and lazy to do, but just perpetuates division rather than promoting the positive.”

It seems to be the eternal default position to automatically blame older people for the world’s ills. Our CEO Paul Goulden shows why it shouldn’t be this way.

What would a world without ageism look like?

What Would a World Without Ageism Look Like?

“We are all ageing; it is a natural consequence of time. To be anti-ageing is to be anti-living. Reframing ageing and designing for all of us as we age, will provide us with neighbourhoods that are open, accepting and accessible to all, wherever we are on our life path.”

Following on from our recent “Evolution of Ageism” conference, Age Allies Project Coordinator Richard Norman muses on a world without ageism – what it would look like and how we can get there.

Ageism – Language and Terminology

“Our language and data collection really has to catch up with new realities. People are living longer, people of all ages have different life styles, and there are many different health and disability issues in all age groups. Ageism and assumptions about ageing are embedded in our language and this affects our thinking, behaviour, attitudes and ways we relate to other people. Age UK London’s Age Allies programme gives participants the chance to reflect on their own assumptions, the ways in which age affects them, and how they relate and think about different people.”

In this week’s blog, Age Allies volunteer Jackie reflects on the ways in which ageism is prevalent in our language and terminology.

unthinking ageism workplace

How can Businesses Avoid the Trap of Unthinking Ageism?  

“Older people in these great numbers, still in good health, have not existed before. We are creating a fresh market, a new challenge, one that is not yet understood. How can it be? Having achieved this extended active later life, these bonus years, we have created a world that is new for all. Those of us already exploring that world have been happily surprised by how enjoyable a time it is. Certainly not the doom image painted by the media. But it is different – much that you took for granted no longer operates in the same way. Small new problems appear that you hadn’t realised would be there. And, you discover, it isn’t just you, many businesses and organisations have no map for this world, so they cant help either. Again, how could they have? Few travellers have as yet wandered this fresh landscape and reported back.”

This week’s blog is a guest post from blogger Grandma Joyce Williams, who writes a whole host of different articles on ageing and ageism, to reveal just how great later life can be. In this piece, Joyce puts forward several ways in which businesses can become more age friendly by avoiding the trap of unthinking ageism!

age discrimination employment

Age Discrimination in Employment

“This week saw the Women and Equalities Committee publish a report on older people and employment. It did not make for pleasant reading. The report uncovered that more than a million people aged 50+ are seeing their talents overlooked due to discrimination, bias, and outdated employment practices.”

This week on the blog we’re looking into the findings of the Women and Equalities Committee and discussing some of the proposed solutions.

Age Allies Blog #6 – Volunteers

“There is a commonly held belief that as people get older they become less competent. My experience of developing the Age Allies Workshops in collaboration with a group of volunteers, underlines how absurd this notion of older people actually is. The creativity, insight and commitment they bring to the table makes our development meetings productive and great fun. Authentic, open, honest and intelligent are the words that spring to mind. Oh yes, and highly competent!”

This week on the Age Allies Blog, Project Coordinator Richard Norman opens the floor to two of the Age Allies volunteers, who discuss their experiences of the project.