Older, different, equal
Older people are diverse
Grouping all older people together and assuming that their lives are all the same is misleading. It can leave some older people out of the conversation.
- Some older people have lived with poverty for all of their lives and now face their later life with financial and housing insecurity whilst living on small pensions.
- Some older people come from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, some may have migrated to the UK and some are British descendants of migrants.
- Some older people become disabled and disabled people become older.
- Some older people have always been Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer (LGBTQ+) and some come out in their later life.
Ageing and ageism affect us differently
- Older people from some groups are more likely to face poverty and the health issues associated with ageing due to inequalities in our society.
- Older people may face ageism from within their own communities which can increase isolation.
- Different forms of discrimination combine to increase the negative impacts and barriers these groups face. Older people face unconscious bias both on the basis of their age and other characteristics like their gender. A good example of this is women who are facing pension poverty as a result of both their age and structural gender inequality which affects women's earnings and pension savings. Women who have been affected by the change to the retirement age are campaigning about these issues.
- Older people from BAME communities face both ageism and racism. The Windrush scandal is a good example.
- LGBTQ+ older people may encounter discrimination when they use services, they are less likely to have family to support them and can become isolated and disconnected from their LGBTQ+ communities.
- Disabled people often face new barriers in their later life and older people who become disabled will encounter the same barriers which reduce the life chances of all disabled people. Austerity combined with the problems in the social care system has had a negative impact on older disabled people.
Some of the negative attitudes towards both older and disabled people have emerged strongly throughout the Covid-19 crisis, our statement about Covid and Ageism explores these issues in more depth.
- Read Joyce ‘Grandma Williams’ blog We are Age Proud!
- Send a postcard to your future self
- Let us know of anything you've seen, heard (or even done) that you think may be ageist: Ey up, is this ageist?
- Get involved in Age Proud Leeds!