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Ageism is stereotyping and/or discrimination against individuals or groups based on their age. This may be casual or systemic. The term was coined in 1969 by Robert Neil Butler to describe discrimination against seniors and patterned on sexism and racism.

In the words of Baroness Dianna Hayter – November 2017


When we think about harmful drinking, the images conjured up are often of the homeless, young people in pubs, binge drinking, hangovers and late-night parties. But is it? What about the retired, lonely older person? Should there not be a bigger focus on what would improve the physical and mental well – being of the older person, the cause of loneliness or falling self- worth, and identifying risk factors and early symptoms.

Attitudes to older persons – discrimination is not too a strong word – means that services are failing them. Bob, a research participant, in Calling Time, coins it: “They look at people of my age, “no point”, they are more likely to direct funding to someone who is younger… I think they think you are a bit of a spent penny at a certain sort of age.

Age should never be a consideration whether or not a person should be referred for treatment. Promoting health, happiness and a productive retirement for a growing ageing population should be the only consideration.

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