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.

Christmas Quiz

Age Allies #5 – A Christmas Quiz!

“The assumptions we make about people affect how we interact with them. In terms of customer service this can have a profound effect on the customer experience and the outcome of the encounter. My assumption is that you would want your customers to feel valued as individuals.”

This month’s Age Allies blog features a Christmas Quiz to try and challenge the assumptions we make about older people’s physical appearances! See how highly you can score!

Party

Age Allies Project Launches!

“The audience were then posed the question “how old is old?”, which naturally drew a whole range of responses – especially once Richard mentioned a video in which the answer given was “40”! This kickstarted a discussion as to whether labelling someone as “old” makes them act in way that society thinks older people should behave. As a result, the Age Allies project aims to counteract the “old person” stereotype, by highlighting the individuality of this demographic and making clear that older Londoners are not a homogenous group. In doing so, it is hoped that organisations and businesses can alter the experiences of older customers and service users to stop them from feeling invisible, patronised, and frustrated and to instead make them feel valued, included, and appreciated.”

Monday October 23rd saw the launch of Age UK London’s new Age Allies programme at the Cockpit Arts Studios in Russell Square. Find out all the details here!

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.

Film Blog 3

Ageism in Film #10 – What I’ve Learned

“My four and a half years at Age UK London have indeed gone by in the blink of an eye. McCartney claims that life does too. Ethel & Ernest, and many of the other films I’ve seen this year, showed me that he’s right. We’re all ageing. I’ll be 30 in just over a month. Turning 50, 60, 70, 80 or 90 feels like a lifetime away. But it’s only the blink of an eye. After all, just yesterday George and I chatted about the fact that we still think of 1998 as being ‘only the other year’!

Working for Age UK London has, genuinely, taught me that all of us have to fight for older people. ”

Over the last year Danny Elliott has been writing a blog series called Ageism in Film. In his final article he reflects on what he’s learned about film and the age sector.

Glastonbury

Age Allies – Glastonbury and the Perception of Ageing

“When you think of older people what is the image that springs to mind? Where did this image come from? On what is it based? Do you judge all older people from the perspective of that image?

From what I can see now, Glastonbury has changed almost beyond recognition. But then, how would I know? The notion that any music festival can be experienced remotely on TV is absurd. It would be superficial. Judging by appearance is always unsatisfactory as it can never tell the whole story.”

With the papers suggesting the best place to watch Glastonbury is from your sofa, Richard Norman asks if he’d feel out of place at the festival at his age and looks into the ways that society’s perception of older people is often shaped by appearance.