Wednesday, 21 October 2009

How old is 'old'?

The old perennial comes around again. Personally an elderly person is anyone older than me! The Dept of Work and Pensions have just produced a report bringing together a number of surveys which basically says that most people think that old age starts at 63 with youth stopping at 45.

By their mid-30s, most respondents stopped describing themselves as young, and only by their mid-70s did they start calling themselves old.

There was some good news for the older generation, with more people saying they were more comfortable with a boss aged over 70 than with somebody under 30 being in charge at work.

But 26% of those asked said they had experienced ageism. This was not just the retired, but also those who were not working or who were not married.

Stereotyping meant that people aged over 70 were viewed as more likely to be pitied, and also were considered an "economic threat" by some.

"Nearly a quarter of respondents believed that people over 70 take out more from the economy than they put in," the report said.

However, this was less of an issue for people living in Yorkshire and the Humber than anywhere else in the UK. Yet another reason for living in God's own country!

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