Should ageism be in the news as much as racism? – Helen Martin

Iain Duncan Smith has suggested raising the pension age to 75 (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)Iain Duncan Smith has suggested raising the pension age to 75 (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Iain Duncan Smith has suggested raising the pension age to 75 (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Given a 71-year-old man was asked to sign a ‘do not resuscitate’ form even though he’d only broken his leg, are we treating ageism as seriously as we should, asks Helen Martin.

IT was in 1969 when ageism became a serious topic of ill-treatment in the UK, whether it was losing a job, being refused credit and borrowing, or treated as second-rate citizens.

Nothing was done about it. But as people get older, it now becomes amusing and irritating for up to 20 years before one reaches 70.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When I hit 50, I started getting Saga letters, magazines and pamphlets. My son was 14, I’d just remarried, we were both working full-time, and buying a new house in an area where we were among the youngest in the neighbourhood.

Oh, how we laughed! Through the letter-box came ad leaflets for stair lifts, gadgets for opening jam jars, or incontinence pads. After a while that became annoying.

Read More
Older teachers fear being bullied out of the profession

A few years ago, there was a suggestion that everyone should work until 70. By early 60s I’d got my pensions, we were working just one day a week but also acquired two rental flats, so that was another “job”.

Every week we are sent “easylife” catalogues which go straight in the bin. Another envelope arrived for me last week (I’m now 67). It contained four promotional leaflets: how to deal with men’s prostate problems, types of furniture to assist mobility, baths and showers for the immobile, and how to pay for one’s funeral. God, that was depressing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Next day I heard a 71-year-old Glasgow man was in hospital having broken his arm and being encouraged to sign a “do not resuscitate” form. Wasn’t that bad enough when confined to Covid? Then this month Tory Iain Duncan Smith (who is 66) suggested raising the pension age to 75! Perhaps ageism should be as topical now as racism?

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.

Subscribe to the Edinburgh Evening News online and enjoy unlimited access to trusted, fact-checked news and sport from Edinburgh and the Lothians. Visit now to sign up.

By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.