Age Allies

Age Allies Blog #7 – Reflections

“The attitudes we hold to age and ageing are creating the world in which our future selves will live. We have the potential to make enormous positive changes for the benefit of everyone. As our population ages the consequences of inaction will have a profoundly negative effect on the health and social care system, our relationships, neighbourhoods and our economy. The inverse is also true. Being pro-active now will see a future that benefits all of us as we age.”

With funding for our Age Allies project set to finish in September, Programme Officer Richard Norman reflects on the project and society’s attitudes to age and ageing.

Age Allies Programme

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As humans we have a strong tendency to organise our social worlds by categorising and we all hold unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups. These biases are influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences. If our society categorises “older people” as all those over a particular age, say fifty, then we are likely to see all those who arbitrarily fit that categorisation as having commonalities. Our assumptions about those commonalities are informed by our unconscious beliefs.

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Age Allies #3 – A Senior Moment?

“The use of such negative language about older people is habitual and has become so mainstream, we hardly recognise we’re doing it. But the effects and consequences of our choice of vocabulary run deep. This socially ingrained ageism can become self-fulfilling as it repeats stereotypes of physical and mental decline, social isolation, and economic burden. There are only so many times you need to be told that you are helpless or dependent before you start to believe it.”

In the third of Age UK London’s monthly Age Allies blogs, Richard Norman explores the phrase “senior moment” and questions why such negative stereotypes feature when we discuss ageing.