19th - 23rd May
Máire Hoctor, Minister for Older People launched 'Say No to Ageism Week' in the Equality Authority, Clonmel Street, Dublin 2, on Monday 19th May 2008.
This initiative is being implemented by the Health Service Executive, the Equality Authority and the National Council on Ageing and Older People. It aims to promote a new awareness of ageism and how it excludes older people from society. Public campaigns to raise awareness and to stimulate practical action within organisations form part of the initiative. Promoting equality for older people as customers is another key element.
The HSE has agreed to spearhead practical action to achieve these objectives. It has already taken the lead by developing and implementing an action programme during 2006. This involved the devising of initiatives in locations aimed at improving age friendly service provision in a workplace or residential setting in 15 trial sites which are involved in a range of service provision settings. The work was kept under review during the year and a report was prepared so that the learning could be disseminated throughout the Executive.
Employment Equality laws exist in order to protect people from discrimination on various grounds, including age. Much of the work of the Equality Authority concerns allegations of ageism. Cases usually involve allegations of discrimination by older people in relation to job advertisements, access to employment, working conditions and retirement ages. Case files under the Equal Status Acts involve allegations of discrimination in relation to access to motor insurance, travel insurance and public sector services. Ageism therefore diminishes the participation by older people in the life of society and limits their access to key services supporting their quality of life.
Status and recognition for older people is reduced where different generations are segregated and older people become invisible or where they are deemed to be a burden. 'Say No to Ageism' week aims to challenge existing attitudes through the use of billboards, the media and posters.
Speaking after the launch, Minister Hoctor said that the HSE, the Equality Authority and the National Council on Ageing and Older People were to be praised on their co-ordinated approach and that it was most encouraging to see the range of activities involved in "Say No to Ageism" week. She added that this initiative would definitely play a practical role in helping to combat ageism in society today.
This year for the fourth year the HSE in partnership with the Equality Authority and the National Council for Ageing and Older People is involved in the organising of the Say No to Ageism Campaign.
‘What’s your attitude to ageism?’ posters are being displayed on billboards, bus shelters and public transport across the country.
The campaign is also about acknowledging the barriers that exclude or prevent older people from fully participating in society.
This year the HSE is targetting actions in the acute hospitals for the first time and, with the support of staff from the Health Promoting Hospitals office, many hospitals around the country are participating.
Actions will include providing stands in hospital lobbies with promotional booklets and posters, participating in a Say No to Ageism quiz and the provision of ageism education sessions.
Last updated on: 14 / 05 / 2008