The challenges faced by older people were highlighted in the EU_SHAFE Project Report on Ageism, which was launched by Louth County Council at an event in the Ardee Civic Offices , Ardee, County Louth on July 19th.

The Ageism Report, launched at the July meeting of Louth Older People’s Council, is the result of a survey on ageing and ageism published by Louth EU_SHAFE (Smart Healthy Age Friendly Environments) in December 2022.  

The survey was sampled by the Living Lab, Netwell Casala Advanced Research Centre, Dundalk Institute of Technology. There were over 700 responses to the survey, which focused on self-perceptions of ageing, society’s attitude to ageing and structural attitudes to ageing.

The report found that while “the majority of people do not see themselves as old when asked directly, they also appear to have internalised the negative narrative that older people lack capacity and that ageing is unattractive.” 

The findings also highlighted that “very high percentage of people are subject to jokes, media imagery and assumptions about their capacity on an almost daily basis.”

Other results highlighted the stereotype that older people are “unable” to use technology with almost one third of under 34s agreeing. But more than two thirds of over 55s disagreed. The descriptions used to depict older people were also included in the survey, with 47% choosing “Older Person”. The least favourite choices were Pensioner, Elderly and OAP.

The report looked at ageing and ageism across services and concludes that there is still a lot of work to be done in this area. 

The survey reflected that as people age they experience more discrimination in relation to their age and their access to services, with the banking sector highlighted for difficulties in accessing face to face services.

Data collated as part of the project has been submitted to the research team at the Technological University (TU) Dublin for further analysis.