Gransnet forums

Everyday Ageism

I have just been put on a vulnerability register

(51 Posts)
M0nica Mon 30-Jul-18 15:49:23

Why? Because I am over 60. No other reason. It was done by my electricity supplier, EDF. It is their policy

Do not get me wrong, I am all in favour of vulnerability registers and would undoubtedly ask to be put on one had I had any problem that made this advisable.

But the everyday ageism is the automatic assumption that if you are over 60 you are vulnerable. When you consider that retirement age is 67, that many men and women are doing quite physically demanding jobs for a decade or more over 60, to classify everyone over an age as low as 60 as vulnerable is lazy and offensive.

Jane10 Mon 30-Jul-18 15:56:29

I'm on their register too. I didn't mind at all. It meant that I was given a direct phone number to call rather than faffing about going through their usual system. They've been very helpful to me. Their dedicated staff for us 'vulnerable' types must be specially chosen.
Sometimes it pays to be 'vulnerable'! wink

MamaCaz Mon 30-Jul-18 16:02:44

It seems like a very bad choice of wording on their part, but I personally don't find it offensive, as I am sure it is well-intended.
I do think that it is ridiculous though, for all the reasons that you have mentioned.

M0nica Mon 30-Jul-18 16:03:35

I have absolutely no doubts about the quality of the staff for those needing to be on the register and their helpfulness. But I think it would be better all round if those on the register were genuinely vulnerable and not just put on it because they hit an arbitary and very low birth date.

I rang them today because I had a letter notifying me of a price rise and it had me listed as being on entirely the wrong tariff and having paper bills and not paying by direct debit. One phone call got me through to someone at the call system and the problem was resolved. It couldn't have been easier. This is the first time I have rung them in 4 years as their customer.

Auntieflo Mon 30-Jul-18 16:13:32

Recently whilst in hospital, I had the usual band on my wrist re NHS no.etc, but a second one that said "Falls"!! When I queried this, as I had not had a fall, the nurse told me, "it was because of my age". I am 76, sometimes feel 96, but more often, only 26 😀

Jane10 Mon 30-Jul-18 17:01:50

When I queried being asked if I wanted to be on the vulnerable register they asked if I had mobility problems, diabetes or other conditions. The reason was that in the event of a power failure it could mean a lift couldn't be used or medication refrigerated. If I was known to be vulnerable I'd be prioritised for help. Seemed useful!

M0nica Mon 30-Jul-18 18:42:59

It is very useful and with those conditions it could be of real help and assistance - even a life saver and I would happily answer the questions if asked. But just because you have had your 60th birthday?

kittylester Mon 30-Jul-18 18:49:31

Conversely, our son who became disabled aged 36 found it really hard to go on the 'special help' register of his supplier. Although 'special help' seems a better description!

travelsafar Mon 30-Jul-18 19:33:25

I feel vulnerable at times and wish i could go on someone's list. I get worn out with always having to be the strong, responsible, supportive one , it would be lovely to have someone look after me for a change. hmm

M0nica Mon 30-Jul-18 20:29:14

kittylester, which just goes to prove how lazily the scheme is thought out.

blossom14 Mon 30-Jul-18 20:42:08

After DH had a stroke this year we had a possible emergency 2 days after he was discharged from hospital. On the advice of our GP I called an ambulance to take H to hospital. When the paramedics arrived DH was asleep and proceeded to berate me soundly for calling ambulance. The female paramedic at once assumed I was being bullied by DH and questioned me closely as to whether I was vulnerable. I assured her that after 58 years of marriage I was very capable of judging what DH was upset about.

After speaking with a friend who had a slight 'domestic' with her DH at her GP appointment and the doctor got very concerned for her safety - I have come to the conclusion that the word has gone out to look for people possibly at risk or vulnerable and sometimes situations are being looked at a bit overzealously.

lemongrove Mon 30-Jul-18 20:43:48

I am prepared to be classed as vulnerable if there is a bit of brass involved.grin

Iam64 Mon 30-Jul-18 21:01:57

I'm classed as vulnerable because of age and RA - it means we get the gas board out instantly if there's a problem.

M0nica Mon 30-Jul-18 21:17:47

As far as I can see no cash involved. It was the arbitary allocation based on nothing but a relatively young age that irritated me. Putting everyone over 80 automatically on a vulnerable register I could understand, but 60 seemed ridiculous, when plenty of people that could be going out each day fit enough to work in a garage or a building site, or on their feet all day working in a hospital or on the shop floor.

By putting so many on the register who have no need to be there, it is surely going to end up with resources spread far to thinly so that those who do need to be on it lose out.

Luckygirl Mon 30-Jul-18 22:00:20

We were put on this by elec co. Means we get help quick if needs be. Suits me!!

cornergran Mon 30-Jul-18 22:03:39

Same here lucky. Maybe the difference is we were asked, rather than it being assumed.

annep Mon 30-Jul-18 22:33:39

I am 67. I had a hospital appointment last year and the letter said it was in "Care of the Elderly". That was bad enough. I was very indignant. Considered vulnerable at 60 is ridiculous. However sometimes I take advantage of being treated as an old person. And why not? If I'm going to be treated as such.

annodomini Mon 30-Jul-18 23:01:28

I must check up on my vulnerability status! I've never heard of it but as I am 77, I should think I might be on the said register.

Eloethan Tue 31-Jul-18 00:09:47

I think the point that Monica is trying to make is that whilst many people would think it a good idea to flag up people who might be considered "vulnerable" because of certain medical conditions, it should not be a blanket classification for everyone over 60. I can understand her feeling put out about it and I suspect I would also feel a bit irritated to be described in that way.

However, Monica also says she could understand such a classification being given to everyone over 80, which seems to me to rather defeat her argument. That would also be a blanket judgment unrelated to the individual but making assumptions about all people over 80. I expect some 80 year olds would be equally indignant to be classified in this way.

My guess is that it is much easier and less time-consuming to use these age-related classifications than to go into the medical history of every single person to identify their vulnerabilities, if any. And it would require constant monitoring because there is a good chance that someone who is OK this year might become vulnerable next year.

M0nica Tue 31-Jul-18 06:17:02

Eloethan the reason I said I would accept it for over 80s is because from that age people are far more likely to have sudden declines in health and capacity and be more quickly affected without adequate heat during a power cut. I am 75, I am not far from that age so I am trying to be realistic.

I quite agree that using an arbitary age does make it easier for companies, but I think 60 is far too young. It is nearly a decade before most people retire.

PamelaJ1 Tue 31-Jul-18 06:21:17

I suppose they have to choose an age and it will never be right. Preferably sooner than later perhaps. Trouble is that if too many of us are on it it won’t work will it?

M0nica Tue 31-Jul-18 06:37:32


annep Tue 31-Jul-18 06:42:11

I dislike ageism. At the same time I dislike the fact that my children don't see me as getting older and not being as capable as I was. (#exhaustedchildminder!)

MissAdventure Tue 31-Jul-18 07:14:39

Its a strange old world.
Classed as vulnerable at 60, but still working, with all that it entails until age 67!

Marydoll Tue 31-Jul-18 07:17:44

I have been on the Scottish Gas register for years.
It was a godsend when our boiler broke down in the middle of winter and I was suffering from a terrible chest infection.

However, like Annep, I dislike ageism and the fact that my children think I'm still as able as I was twenty years ago.☹️