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We want to hear from older people who believe they have been treated unfairly because of their age.

Would you tell an 85 year old woman with depression, ‘It’s just part of getting old’?

FACT. An estimated 85% of older people with depression receive no help at all from the NHS

FACT. Up to 50% of older people in residential care have clinically severe depression, yet only between 10%-15% receive any active treatment.

Would you tell an 85 year old man with heart problems, ‘Nothing that can be done for you because of your age-that’s as good as it’s going to get’?

FACT. 46% of GPs and care of the elderly doctors, and 48% of cardiologists treated patients age 65+ differently to those under 65.

Would you tell a 76 year old man with a head injury, ‘You’re too old to receive specialist brain treatment’?

FACT. In 2007, a County Armagh farmer injured during a farming accident, was refused specialist brain treatment at Musgrave Hospital because he was considered to be too old.

Would you make it impossible for a 80 year old woman to visit her sick sister in America because she can’t get travel insurance?

FACT. Those aged 75+ are 9 times more likely to be refused cover than those aged 30-49.

Imagine... hearing comments like those day in, day out, and not being able to do anything about it. We think that’s wrong.

We’re sure you do too. Age NI has spoken to hundreds of older people here. They are unanimous. Legislation is needed to protect older people in Northern Ireland.

The NI Executive has promised to introduce legislation by March 2015 to end discrimination on the grounds of age in accessing things like healthcare, mortgages and bank loans, membership of gyms and clubs, accommodation and transport.

The law will call these things Goods, Facilities and Services (GFS).

You can help stop age discrimination now:

  • Write to your Elected Representatives and ask them to take action to ensure that the draft policy and legislation is consulted on as a matter of urgency to get the GFS law in place by March 2015
  • Log on to @EverydayAgeism and tell us how age discrimination has affected you or older people you know

Download the 'Stop Age Discrimination Now' leaflet (PDF 360KB)

More examples of ageism

  • Your doctor fails to refer you for medical treatment such as cancer treatment, a hip or knee replacement or heart surgery, because of your age.
  • You are denied access because of your age to the full range of mental health services, such as home treatment, that are available to younger adults.
  • Your GP refuses to prescribe you certain medication or refer you for certain investigations, such as blood tests or x-rays, because you have reached a certain age.
  • Your travel, health or motor insurance has been withdrawn or made excessively expensive because you have reached a certain age.
  • You have had difficulty finding a suitable course or attending a course at a college of further or higher education because of your age.
  • You are treated with disrespect or patronised because you are an older person by a nurse or care worker.
  • You receive poor standards of care while in hospital because you are an older person.
  • A computer salesperson makes offensive remarks and jokes based on an assumption about your ability to use a computer.
  • A health care professional disregards your choices or excludes you from decisions about your care because of your age.
  • Your doctor dismisses your symptoms because you are an older person.
  • You have been refused a loan or have had difficulty using your bank account because you are an older person.
  • You are an older person in a rural area and have difficulty in getting public transport or out of hours medical treatment because of your age.
  • Your optician allows payment for spectacles by installments, but restricts eligibility to those in work. You are a pensioner so you can’t use the payment scheme.
  • You have difficulty using public transport, such as trains or buses, because you are an older person.

Share your experiences

The NI Executive is considering introducing new legislation into Northern Ireland that will give greater protection for older people against discrimination when accessing goods and services. Your experiences will help us illustrate the type of unfair treatment experienced by older people in Northern Ireland and the protection that is needed under the new legislation.

If you would like to share your experiences in confidence please complete our anonymous ageism survey or contact Edel Quinn:

Ageism Survey
Tweet: @ageni_edel or @EverydayAgeism
Tel: 028 9024 5729  E-mail:

For more information: Age NI 028 9024 5729

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