If you’ve ever been discriminated against because of your age, you’re not alone: almost 70 per cent of older Australians believe that ageism against older people is “a serious problem”, according to new research. 

The survey of 1042 Australians over the age of 50, conducted for anti-ageism campaign EveryAGE Counts by RedBridge Group, split respondents into different age brackets: 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90+.

While 68% of those surveyed believed ageism against older people was a serious problem in Australia, that number jumped to 73% among those aged 60-69 – though people in their 80s were a lot less likely to think ageism is a problem than those in the younger age brackets.

The most likely group of older Australians to have experienced ageism in the past year were those in their 60s, at 37% (compared to 26% for all over-50s).

However, when it came to areas such as technology and healthcare, those aged over 90 saw the most discrimination; people over 90 were also more likely to report others insisting on doing things for them that they could have done for themselves.

Dr Marlene Krasovitsky, head of EveryAGE Counts, said the results should be a wake-up call on ageism in Australia.

“The way most polling has traditionally lumped ‘older Australians’ together into one monolithic group is ageist in and of itself. What this new research shows is that attitudes to ageism and experiences of ageism vary significantly across a very diverse ‘over-50’ group.

“By zooming in on different age brackets among older Australians we find that ageism affects people in different ways. For example, this polling shows us that Australians in their 50s and 60s are likely to encounter ageism at work or when applying for jobs.”

“Those in their 80s and 90s, conversely, are more likely to report experiencing ageism in the health system, either by being denied treatments or by being ignored in favour of a carer,” she said.

If you want to see the full results of the survey, you can check them out here.

Image: Philippe Leone/Unsplash