The Everyday Ageism Project

The Everyday Ageism Project aims to capture people’s everyday experiences of ageism. Research by EURAGE shows that across the European region, ageism is the most commonly experienced form of prejudice, yet relatively little is known about how it is experienced, who experiences it and the situations which may leave people vulnerable to age discrimination.

By providing a safe forum for people to anonymously share their experiences, the project aims to understand the consequences of ageism and the ways that age discrimination can affect people’s everyday lives. We also wish to encourage people to share their stories to show that ageism does exist and that it is a valid problem worth discussing.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Inadequate Access to Transport

Suitable transport should be provided for the elderly “starting NOW”

The incident concerns a bus company, not all of its bus fleet allows passengers to enter buses without a short climb or a long climb to the upstairs compartment. Legislation was brought forward for disabled people to have the right of entrance, (even those in wheelchairs) but nothing seems to be done for those aged and may have a companion with them. Suitable transport (i.e. buses) ought to be provided on ALL routes to enable the elderly to get around, starting NOW. Buses are converted for disabled people, but not all of them, which is required by law. No such requirement has to be met by bus companies, when carrying Elderly people. This is why it is a matter of ageism.

Having been asked to remove myself in front of other passengers, by the bus driver made me fell embarrassed, demeaned and angered. Reporting the incident to the Head Office of the bus company, merely resulted in a letter explaining that it was entirely up to the bus driver whom he carried, which is both wrong as a matter of law and a matter of the bus complained requirements.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Ageist Marketing is Meant to be ‘Quirky’

Baguettes sold as ‘crinkly old bags’

[A food company] sold baguettes as 'crinkly old bags', and as far as I know they still sell them.

[I think this is ageism] from my gut instinct, I felt offended knowing how it is used as an insult towards older women.

[This made me feel] very offended, belittled, excluded and patronised. I was shocked that it was so blatant, the butt of an in joke which they think they can get away with, because it thinks its customers are from a different demographic. I felt depressed because it's not deemed unacceptable! When I complained to the company they said they thought it was meant to be 'quirky'!

This confirms how deep rooted ageism is and how many are so blind to it.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Ageism...When Retirement Age Arrived

"I do my best to confront discrimination of any kind"

When my retirement age arrived, I was told that I could stay on longer at work but would not get any extra Pension rights or employer contribution paid, and I would only be on an annual contract with a reduction of hours. My life experience and knowing a lot about the nature of the work told me that the reduction of hours would imply they would expect the same work done in less time. Note that when I retired they did employ another person, on fewer hours to do the same work. That person was unable to cope under pressure and left. All of my appraisals had been rated as excellent up to the time of my retirement. Management expected that I was not able to keep up the pace of work, for no other reason than that I had reached retirement age.

I was pleased to retire, but a little angry that managers with so little understanding of the work were able to manipulate a decent worker out just to get a cheaper one in, who could not keep up the required pace.

Retirement has made me free to carry out voluntary work with two organisations. My experience in all of this has shown me that in spite of the Government saying they support older people, they STILL discriminate against older people. However by being active I do my best to confront discrimination of any kind and shall keep doing so as long as I am able.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Older People Seen as a Burden and a Drain on Resources

... causing traffic jams and impeding business people

I was phoned by a young reporter (about 2008) to be told that older people were perceived to be a burden and a drain on resources by the local county council. In my experience the same attitude exists in local town councils.  At a transport committee it was made clear that the local council wanted to attract businessmen. They said they did not want older people, and young mothers driving cars and cluttering up the roads. It was stated that these mothers and pensioners were the cause of traffic jams impeding the business people.   Sadly most of the committee were men well over 60.  When I went to give a talk to a forum about transport issues that affect older people, shortly afterwards, in the council offices building, I asked some men who looked of retirement age, standing in a group, if they were going to attend the talk. One man was so outraged he asked me if he looked like a pensioner, and I had to tell him he did.  Ageism is self-perpetuating.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Restricting Access to Transport

Older people do not want to be a 'prisoner in the home'

I was told about this particular incident this morning. A Resident in a residential home was informed that she could only book to have the services of a volunteer transport service, if she was accompanied by a Carer. This lady may have some mobility problems, but her brain is very 'normal'. She is not a prisoner in the home and comes and goes at will. Unfortunately, ageist remarks such as this occur often. Those who live in residential care are 'labelled'. Despite the fact that whatever age, dignity should be paramount.

[This makes me feel] Utterly useless. Nobody should be made to feel, because of age, like they are no longer a valued member of society.