A joint report by a Commission of the NHS Confederation , Age UK and the Local Govt. Assocn. has just been published. They took evidence from a variety of organisations and bodies involved directly with the elderly as well as various professional groups of doctors , nurses and care-givers over a period of 8 months before making their conclusions and recommendations.

Pejorative overtones , condescending remarks ,ridicules, addressing older people by 'pet' names eg 'chuck' or 'pet' are common. A general lack of respect and attention is widespread everywhere. Whether in a supermarket or in a hospital ward or in a care home , ageist discrimination strikes !

The question I would like to ask -WHY ??? Nearly 11 years ago at a similar national 'charter' on Older People called National Service Framework for the Older People , the then Authorities had 'committed' to root out ageist discrimination and attitude from the statutory service agencies as their number 1 priority ; why it hasn't happened ? Before we look at another 'report' , should we not be asking this question?

It is fashionable these days to produce and launch 'reports' and 'recommendations' - without querying into what happened to the last one? And if the previous ones hadn't been implemented or abiding by all , why should this 'new' one be accepted ?

Of course we all want to see the extinction of 'ageism' from the society ;like 'racism' , it is evil and must not be tolerated by any civilized people. We keep on talking about it - but it continues and is probably getting worse. Perhaps the older people themselves should stand up and fight it - a true ''grey power''!! There must be 'sanctions' against organisations where such ageism is witnessed. There should be better training at our schools , where , these days , awareness of different religious faiths are being raised with a view to dispel racism ! Schools of nursing , therapists , and medical schools should also teach 'age awareness' to their pupils. The businesses and the media must do more -- BBC's own practice of removing 50+ aged news readers doesn't help either. More advertisements with older faces - older people given more say in social policy matters etc etc would definitely help.

Ageism is difficult to prove in a legal way - but it is unethical , immoral and wrong ! It must be expunged not only from society but from our hearts and minds also. It is our ''attitude', largely born out of fear, that is the basis of this prejudice and 'attitudes' can't be changed by legislation.