13 June 2002 Edition

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Tackling ageism and exclusion of older people

Niall Crowley of the Equality Authority (EA) is pictured with Sylvia Meehan and Kate Hayes of the Senior Citizens' Parliament at the launch last week of an EA report titled 'Implementing Equality for Older People'. Speaking at the launch, Crowley related the issue of ageism to "institutional practices that segregate or use upper age limits, individual attitudes based on negative stereotypes and relationships with older people based on patronising, neglecting or even abusing older people".

In a strong address against discrimination, Sylvia Meehan pointed out that "there is no calendar date when we cease to be citizens".

The report says that these issues can be changed through: legislative change; the full participation of older people and their organisations in decision-making; age awareness training for policy-makers, service providers and employers; and age proofing or assessing all policies for their impact on older people.

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