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, 21 January 2013

When's the Right Age for Politics?

Candidate told to "come back in 10 years time"

"I put myself forward for Parliamentary selection in my home town and made the final shortlist of candidates.  During the selection process, I spoke with many members of the local party and was taken aback by one particular comment.  This was that I was too young to be standing and I should "come back in 10 years".  I explained that in 10 years time I would be 45 and could not predict whether my life circumstances would allow me to put myself forward at that time.  I explained I felt I had enough relevant experience and that I had been successfully shortlisted on the basis of this.

[This is ageism because] "the woman judged my ability of the arbitrary basis of my age, with no reference to the experience and other qualities that I would bring to the role."

"I felt frustrated that while working to improve attitudes towards older people in my day job - the value of experience, wisdom and perspective they can bring - I found myself being told I was no good because I had yet to reach a specific age by which time I would be deemed 'good enough'.  I also felt that this was one reason why women don't get on in politics and public life - they're always too young until they're too old - and in between maybe children and careers and battling gender stereotypes."

"It reminded me that having positive attitudes towards older people's value does not mean that they will necessarily see the value of what you may bring at a younger age.  As with all forms of discrimination, there is a tendency to write people off who do not conform to someone's idea of the ideal stereotype.  Age, disability, gender and other factors are not irrelevant - they make us who we are and diversity has an intrinsic value - but writing people off as too old or too young regardless of ability and suitability for the role is nonsensical and pure prejudice."

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Patronising Health Care

"I don't want to get old as people do not respect you or consider that you are important"

"My 79 year old mother felt unwell so I called the GP to her home, after 3 requests he finally arrived.  He walked through the door looked at my mother and said "So how are you then, and if you say alright I am out of that door".  He spoke to her as if she was 6 years old and could not hear or understand him.  My mother was perfectly lucid 'normal' and could hear very well, she did not go to the doctors on a regular basis.  The GP did not examine my mother but asked her a couple of questions then diagnosed  water infection.  His manner was very patronising and he treated her like a child.  I found this very annoying and disgusting that someone who did not abuse the NHS service was not receiving any respect or any service."

"I felt very angry that a 79 year old who was unwell was not receiving medical treatment and diagnosis. I feel that I don't want to get old as people do not respect you or consider that you are important."