Ageism in Action

This headline from today’s Guardian is ageism in action. Why? Because it reinforces the myth that later life is a wasteland of decline, depression and poverty.

The way the headline is worded suggests that losing the free TV licence will push everyone over the age of 75 into poverty.


In fact, Age UK warns that the move to paid licences could nudge 50,000 over-75s into “relative poverty.”

Now, 50,000 is 50,000 too many – and eliminating economic hardship (at every age level) is one of the defining challenges facing us in the early 21st century.

But that’s no excuse for feeding the toxic narrative that later life means living on the breadline.

Roughly 5.5 million people in the UK are aged over 75. That means LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of that age group would be pushed into relative poverty by this proposal.

If we’re going to vanquish ageism, then we have to start by changing the way we talk – in headlines and beyond – about those in later life….