Gransnet forums

Everyday Ageism

We do it to ourselves!

(16 Posts)
daisy60 Fri 28-Aug-15 13:04:16

I challenge any form of discrimination if I am witness to it! However more and more I am aware that I am ageist to myself! Everytime I get up I groan and go ooh! I forget where I have put my keys, letters, have I fed the dog? What do I think - I have dementia! My hair is going thin, but I have plenty growing on my chin! What do I think - growing older is no joke! I still find the same men attractive, just like I did when I was 20 - trouble is they are still 20 and I am 65! I feel I let the side down when I look at 65 year old men and do not find them attractive! I have become a 'grumpy old woman', moan about everything, shout at the telly and can't remember how many times I say 'why do we keep repeating the same old mistakes' especially in relation to politics. On the other hand:

I love Coldplay, Will I Am, playing Vintage Sindy with my grand daughter, getting drunk, wearing trendy clothes, wearing ankle boots with a lace dress, having my nails done, having my hair highlighted, swimming, walking the dog, picnics, girly chats with my best friend, sobbing over a sloppy film - I'm not too old after all (not sure about the 20 year old boyfriend.) Oh nearly forgot I love my VW Beetle.

Alea Fri 28-Aug-15 13:15:50

Yep! I can identify with that. I wonder if one reason we do it is to "get in first" , make the ageist comment in a self-deprecating way before someone else says it for real?

Something to guard against, well spotted!

Notso Fri 28-Aug-15 13:24:08

I'm 68 and refer to myself as late middle-aged.
I try not to grumble/complain/get stressed because it makes my wrinkles worse.
The only thing that really gets to me is less hair on head=more on chin!
As to all the aches and pains and groans, well if you live long enough, you'll usually get stuff, most of which hurts.
It's better than the alternative! grin

Luckygirl Fri 28-Aug-15 18:12:40

If we don't laugh at all these creeping decrepitudes we would lose the will to live.

Katek Fri 28-Aug-15 18:28:04

Creeping I can handle-mine have been galloping recently!!

MamaCaz Fri 28-Aug-15 18:31:46

None of that sounds ageist to me, Daisy - if you want to label it with an '-ist' word, then I'd just call it 'realist'. grin

MargaretX Fri 28-Aug-15 22:28:34

The mistake was to think you wouldn't grow old in the first place. I'm older than a lot on GN but don't moan about it. After all what is the alternative? Accepting being old is not ageist! its is common sense.
Still I wouldn't wear a lace dress with boots but then I wouldn't have worn them together aged 25 either.

Falconbird Sat 29-Aug-15 06:46:02

I'm nearly 69 and I must admit growing older is confusing. I went for an informal interview as a volunteer and the chap who showed me to the interview room treated me as if I was quite elderly. Could I manage the stairs etc.,

On my way home I encountered a meter reader man who asked me to help him find a flat in the apartments where I live. His attitude was totally different. He was quite flirty and chatty and treated me as if I was very competent.

My grown up children veer between treating me with concern because I'm "getting on a bit" and the expecting me to babysit with lots of walking and responsibility.

Some years ago I went for a blood pressure check and the nurse came out and exclaimed "oh you're wearing white trousers," as if this wasn't allowed after 60!! and then asked me if I could manage the stairs.

I try to view approaching old age as a journey but I sometimes wish I was nearly 49 smile

whitewave Sat 29-Aug-15 07:31:49

I am constantly surprised that I am getting on for 70, I never envisaged myself at this age, and in a funny sort of way still don't. I feel about 40 in my head but with the added bonus of confidence I never had when I was younger. I have far too much to do so can't really afford to get any oldergrin
Like everyone e else I have aches and pains - the trick really is to keep moving- but I am inclined to sit reading. Why do I get them in bed have to change position relatively frequently which is tutting.

thatbags Sat 29-Aug-15 08:09:29

I don't think anything in the OP is ageist. Noticing signs of aging is just that: noticing. One notices signs of youth too. It's making unwarranted assumptions based on the noticing that is ageist.

Asking someone if they're allright with stairs is considerateness, not ageism.

Finding handsome young men sexually attractive is appreciation of physical beauty (and possibly a bit of lust). Big deal. Not.

Anya Sat 29-Aug-15 08:42:22

I've noticed that more and more, when I'm with people my own age, they do go on and on about their failing bodies, in a way that younger people don't.

It is true that few young people are on regular medication but is there really perhaps a need in us as humans to draw attention to our weaknesses as we age?

Also, I think men are even happier to 'share' their medical condition than women!

Falconbird Sat 29-Aug-15 08:44:44

I agree about the stairs - with Health and Safety being what it is I think most people are asked that question and maybe it is a mistake to think they ask because you are an older person.

I am puzzled though by supermarket check outs. Sometimes they ask if you want help with packing and sometimes they don't. I am often tempted to say yes because I'm tired but never do. I'll save that help until I'm actually unable to do it myself.

thatbags Sat 29-Aug-15 09:47:59

I've always assumed the question about wanting help with packing at checkouts is just something the checkout workers are told to ask, like "do you want any bags?" Nothing to do with age.

POGS Sat 29-Aug-15 11:33:15


My thought is the word 'ageist' was used in a self deprecating way to keep the thread light hearted but with a given context so I hope I have this correct.

I like your description of yourself, you would be right up my street probably. smile

I too say ooh when I stand. My GD has a great routine showing how I get out of the chair and walk with my stick/sticks and I can't help but think 'how the hell did I get to this'. Where has the party girl gone? She is still there but trapped a tad in a body that has aged too quickly for my liking.

So what if we look for lifts in shops because we can't climb the stairs, attend more wakes than we do gigs, sit on a seat and watch the world go by. You can't change what life throws at you but you sure as hell learn to cope with it, if you don't you become a moaning old biddy whom nobody wants to be with.

I don't even think about the times I am asked a question that could be related to my age, I rather find it reasurring people take the trouble to still be considerate ' lord knows the world is changing on that score. If a smile is given because somebody thinks I am an old duffer then at least I have had a smile from someone. If a friendly gesture of help is offered because of my appearance then at least someone took the trouble to offer their help. Do you get my drift.

For me the one thing that cannot age and the one thing that keeps us good friends and company throughout our lives and will never be 'ageist' is having a good sense of humour. Being able to see the funny side, turning a bad situation into a funny one, the ability to be self deprecating etc.

I think you probably have a good humour and as for ageist thoughts put them in a box with a seal tight lid and enjoy riding around in 'Herbie'.

vampirequeen Sat 29-Aug-15 21:11:38

I refuse to get any older. I did my being old bit when I was younger and was crushed by responsibility and worries about what strangers thought about me. I acted far older than I was so now I'm living the years I missed out on.

If I get any aches and pains I put them down to growing down as I grew up far too fast and so am now in reverse.

daisy60 Mon 31-Aug-15 08:33:46

Challenging stigma and discrimination on all fronts is massive, we experience individual discrimination, societal discrimination i.e. a creeping feeling of exclusion and lack of opportunity and institutional, the latter is the most challenging, it is political and the very fabric of our society (laws, policies) an example was the 'Liverpool Care Pathway' fortunately this has now been scrapped, it was shocking. The NHS discriminates against older people all of the time. Refusing life saving surgery on the grounds 'they would not survive the anaesthetic'. 'Aging population draining the NHS' etc. etc. this leads to 'moral panics' and then parliament rushes through ill thought out policies as a knee jerk reaction.
One of the most challenging things to achieve is how to ensure that the wealth of experience and knowledge is not lost. We see examples of this everyday, a lot of what politicians come out with has all been said before, but the younger generations think they are the first to think of it, it is like reinventing the wheel over and over again. This leads to repeated mistakes and no solutions. This is a direct result of not listening or valuing older people. Our society does not value the older generation, therefore future generations miss out on some much experience.