New video exposes ageism

Last Updated: May 12, 2022 This post was written by Clive Price

It’s the most widespread form of discrimination in the UK. Ageism is alive and well across these islands.

To counter this prevailing culture, the Centre for Ageing Better have produced a new video called Ageism: Explained. The film champions older people by addressing the impact of ageism and the reality of ageing.

‘We are judged according to how old we are’

Sometimes discrimination is obvious, other times it is hidden. The Centre for Ageing Better challenge it all with their production.

The three-minute film exposes the offensive stereotypes, negative attitudes and false generalisations targeted at older people – and shows how these affect our self image.

‘From the minute we are born, we are judged according to how old we are,’ according to the programme, ‘and this can lead us to being treated unfairly because of our age.’

The programme shows in the workplace, older employees are often treated as less able, routinely held back from training opportunities or feel shut out of the jobs market entirely.

Media portrayals of ageing show either baby boomers brimming with cash – or frail folk falling victim to scams. Images of older people are only used in adverts selling products on death and decline.

‘Life satisfaction is at its highest in later life’

‘The bleak stories we’re told and sold about getting older do not reflect reality,’ says the video’s narrator. ‘In fact, life satisfaction is at its highest in later life.’

Most of us recognise that older adults have plenty to contribute to society. ‘Four in five of us believe we could all benefit from the wealth of experience older adults have,’ says the video. ‘It’s clear that age is not the problem – ageism is.’

The film explains that age discrimination isn’t just unfair – it’s illegal – and encourages people to help end ageism.

In an accompanying blog, Communications Officer Niall Ryan writes, ‘It’s time for us to tell a different story. Making small changes to how we speak and write about ageing can have a big impact’.