21 Mar 2019
Ageism is real: it is manifest in the way older people are portrayed in the media and it plays out with people not getting jobs because they’re perceived to be too old. Ageism even has serious health consequences, including lowered levels of self-efficacy and physical function as well as cardiovascular stress and memory loss. Data presented recently at the launch of Wave 8 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) showed that perceived age discrimination is significantly associated with an increased risk of serious disease over six years of follow-up.
Faced with overwhelmingly negative attitudes about ageing in day-to-day life, it is unsurprising that older people themselves start applying ageist attitudes to other older people, and indeed to themselves.
In order to understand and tackle ageist attitudes, we commissioned this research on data from Wave 8 of ELSA to examine views about ageing in the current population of people aged 50 and over in England.