Age Action is working to reframe how we think, feel and act towards older people. Ageism refers to the harm done through how we think (stereotypes), how we feel (prejudice) and how we act (discrimination) towards others or ourselves based on age. Ageism can be conscious or unconscious. Ageism occurs when people interact with one another (interpersonal), when organisations interact with individuals (institutional) and when people direct ageism towards themselves (self-directed).
Age equality is about a vision of society where age is no longer a barrier to everyone participating and living full, independent lives. Differential treatment on the grounds of age must not undermine the human rights principles of dignity, autonomy and participation. Any justification for using age as a decision-making criterion must not be contaminated by ageist stereotypes, assumptions and prejudice. Achieving age equality involves removing age-related barriers to the achievement of equality of outcome for older (and younger) people.
Age Action's advocacy to eliminate ageism is informed by the lived experience of older people and our analysis of the published research and policy practice. Age Action is publishing knowledge products to help to inform the development of public policy, collaborating with other organisations to understand the impact of ageism on people's lives and raising awarenss of ageism through the media. Age Action also convenes Positive Ageing Week, which seeks to challenge negative stereotypes about ageing and older people. Positive Age Week is an initiative to promote the agency of older people. For over 20 years individuals, groups, local authorities and businesses have been organisitng events to mark Positive Ageing Week.
You can find out more about our work to reframe ageing in the documents listed above.