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[STEREOTYPES RULE] Ageism “epidemic” in the UK

More than a quarter (27%) of people over 65 in the UK have experienced ageism, according to a study of attitudes and beliefs about age and aging by McCarthy Stone, a developer and manager of UK retirement communities. The company’s 51-page report, “Vision for later life in Britain 2021,” includes interviews with experts and a group of McCarthy Stone homeowners, plus a poll of more than 5,000 people across the UK, half of whom are ages 65+. Much will sound familiar to active-aging readers across the globe, and so the report is well worth a read, especially for the action steps.

Researchers found that ageism - which most commonly manifested itself in negative stereotypes and derogatory terminology such as “pensioners,” “old fogey” and “codger” - is fueling continued misrepresentation of older people in society and a lack of understanding about later life.

As a result, 43% of people under 65 fear they'll be regarded as frail and somehow less important in older age, even though more than half of those over 65 (51%) say they actually feel more confident and resilient in later life.

However, the misrepresentation is having a negative impact on the lifestyles of people over 65, as 41% say ageism results in dehumanization of older people and a third (31%) believe it has a detrimental impact on mental health.

Further, more than half (52%) believe ageism creates a lack of awareness of older age groups' wants and needs.

John Tonkiss, Chief Executive of McCarthy Stone, said, “The post-pandemic era presents the opportunity for us all to re-set and champion the needs and wellbeing of older people in society. We must collectively tackle the root causes and impact of ageism and create a society in which later life is filled with joy, happiness and purpose.”

Download the full report here,

 

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