New research reveals 60 per cent of people in the UK feel ageism is a major problem

McCarthy Stone’s new Vision for Later Life in Britain report suggests that over three million people have been the victims of ageism.

With the consequences including prejudice and dehumanization, McCarthy Stone is calling for immediate action to solve this age-old problem.

The research analyses the UK’s attitudes to, and experience of, ageing, based on a poll of 5,000 adults and in-depth interviews with experts and older people.

The report discovers that ageism – which includes negative stereotypes and pejorative terms such as ‘pensioners’, ‘old fogey’ and ‘codger’ – is fuelling misconceptions about later life.

Over a third of people believe this is having a negative impact on mental health.

 Perception versus reality

43 per cent of people surveyed under the age 65 fear they’ll be regarded as frail and somehow less important in older age.

51 per cent said they actually feel more confident and resilient.

John Tonkiss, CEO of McCarthy Stone, said: “Our report shows the UK is blighted by ageist attitudes.

“We have the chance to create a society in which later life is filled with joy, happiness and purpose, and we are calling on government and society to make positive changes to establish Britain as the best place in which to live and grow old.”

McCarthy Stone wants the Government to make policy changes to help tackle the country’s ageist culture:

  • Increasing workplace opportunities, through the introduction of mandatory Age Gap reporting across all UK businesses and a ‘Kickstart’ scheme to incentivise hiring older generations into the workforce
  • Increasing representation of older communities in Westminster, with a dedicated Minister for Older People
  • Dedicated commitment to preventative health and social care for older people, including having the government publish its long-awaited Social Care White Paper and getting the NHS to deliver a ‘Now, Not Later’ strategy of preventative healthcare
  • Using technology to foster intergenerational connectivity and understanding, with a technology and AI fund to develop innovations that bring multiple generations together, and digital education programmes and training to increase access to technology in later life
  • Unlocking purpose and value from later life, with local authorities and community volunteering groups creating a volunteer army of one million more older people to support society, building on the three million older people who already regularly volunteer
  • Driving fairer representation of older people in the media, with a media manifesto for the press to commit to promote more balanced coverage
  • Improving the accessibility standards of new homes specifically for the ageing population.

Download the report And have your say! Complete the online poll

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McCarthy Stone is the UK’s largest developer of retirement communities offering retirement properties to rent or for sale.

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About the Vision for Later Life in Britain research

The McCarthy Stone research is part of the Vision for Later Life in Britain report and was conducted in partnership with Vitreous World.

The research was conducted as a two-phase study; the first phase, a qualitative research study, comprised 20 in-depth interviews among political/industry stakeholders (10) and McCarthy Stone homeowners (10); the second phase was a 30-question quantitative survey, which interviewed 5,000 respondents in the UK (2,500 respondents aged 18-64-years old and 2,500 respondents who are 65+ years old).

The survey was conducted in February 2021, at a +/-2% margin of error.