1 in 3 older adults reports age discrimination

One third of British people in their 50s and above said they had experienced age discrimination, researchers reported in the journal Age and Ageing. That included being treated with less courtesy or getting poorer service at restaurants and hospitals.13059163103ZnrmE

According to this report on Fox News, the authors analyzed questionnaires from a long-term study of more than 7,000 people age 50 and older who were living in England in 2003. The current data come from responses in 2010 and 2011.

Participants rated how often they experienced five discriminatory situations: being treated with less respect, receiving poorer service than other people in restaurants and stores, receiving poorer service in hospitals, being treated as not clever and being threatened or harassed.

They also specified why they thought such discrimination had happened.

Some interesting findings suggesting who might be most likely to ‘Age-Rage’ about discrimination:

  • One third of all participants attributed at least some of their perceived discrimination to age. That rose to 37 percent of those over age 65.
  • Working people were 25 percent less likely to report age discrimination than their retired counterparts.
  • Older retired men with less money and more education were most likely to report age discrimination.
  • Better-educated people may be more attuned to inequities and more likely to report discrimination of any kind.
  • Seventeen percent of all participants – the highest proportion – reported being treated with less respect because of their age.
  • Less than five percent said they had experienced age-related harassment.
  • 10 percent of all respondents felt that they had been discriminated (against) due to their age in health settings, providing further evidence for the existence of ageism in healthcare.
  • People experiencing, or thinking they are experiencing, discrimination may go out less, feel sad or less safe, withdraw or become depressed.

The authors suggested that because this study lines up with results from the European Union and United States, the general findings about perceived discrimination probably apply to most countries, But the links to specific social factors like education and wealth may not.