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Majority of older people think ageism should be illegal

4 September 2007

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New research shows four out of five older people in the UK want an outright ban on age discrimination.

According to charity Help the Aged, nearly 10.5 million people aged 60 and over think ageism in services should be illegal.

As part of its Just Equal Treatment (JET) campaign to put ageism on an equal footing with racism and sexism, Help the Aged is calling for the Single Equality Bill to include a ban on age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services, including health and social care services.

The Charity also wants the public sector equality duty extended to include age so older people’s needs are taken into account in public services.

The new research for Help the Aged also found that 51% think health professionals dismiss symptoms as just old age, while 53% believe there is little dignity for older people in hospital or care homes.

One in 10 people aged 60 and over have been spoken to in an ageist way.

Kate Jopling, head of public affairs at Help the Aged, says: “It’s high time the government stopped dragging its heels and took an active role in fighting age discrimination.

“Ageist attitudes and practices are a daily blight on older people’s lives, affecting the type of care they receive, the insurance options available to them and even the way they are spoken to.”

Help the Aged