01/11/2004

Anti-age discrimination measures having no effect, says survey

Not only are anti-age discrimination measures failing to get the equality message through but the situation for the elderly will get worse, according to an Age Concern survey.

The survey found that 75% of people think age discrimination will not get any better in the next five years, with 28% saying it will get worse.

Of those surveyed, 30% said the level of prejudice against older people was actually higher now than it was five years ago.

The findings come as the charity unveiled its first-ever national billboard advertising campaign ‘Ageism Exists’, which encourages the public to join the fight to make age equality a reality.

The survey found overwhelming support for age equality, with 93% saying that the over 70s should definitely have equal access to health services.

Age Concern said that age inequality remained "legal and institutionalised" as people can be forced out of a job just because of their age. And currently, over 65s who become disabled cannot apply for the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, Age Concern said.

Also, many companies have upper-age limits on products, such as car and travel insurance and credit cards.

Gordon Lishman, Director General of Age Concern England, said: “Ageism is the last form of legal discrimination. It is often invisible and is endemic in our culture. This has to change. The cult of youth does not match the reality of people’s lives and we are living in the age of the older person. It’s time for the government to take action to give older people the rights and equality they need and deserve.”

(gmcg)

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