I am over 50. This is not remarkable and is also not why I have an interest in the language we use to talk about older people. I have an interest in the language we use to talk about all sorts of stuff. It’s my job to. You can trawl through my archive blogs to find me wanging on about similar. But today let’s look at ageism in copy.

I can’t recall how I first heard about the Centre for Ageing Better, but at a push (but not in a court of law) I’d say it was Twitter. I reckon I saw someone I follow tweeting about them and it piqued my interest enough to click through and request to be added to their mailing list – side note – I will miss Twitter if the electric car man ruins it.

So, The Centre for Ageing…I am loving their work. They have a ton of useful resources and campaigns. For example their free image library is full of wonderful images that challenge the way older people are represented.

And this guest blog on how brands show old age and ageing.

I like them that much I was even inspired to join in one of their challenges online and posted a selfie using their hashtag #AwomansWork to acknowledge and recognise older ‘invisible’ women at work. I don’t do selfies as a rule.

There are some incredible stats on their website too relating to health, housing, inequality and much more.

But specifically, I wanted to look at this cracking resource on talking about ageing and older age “In the UK, ageism is the most prevalent form of discrimination amongst all age groups, with one in three people experiencing age-based prejudice or discrimination. The way people currently talk about ageing and older age is largely negative. To change this conversation we need to stop reinforcing these beliefs – and tell a new story. Small changes to the ways that we speak and write about ageing and older age if applied consistently, could have a big impact.”

As ever, it’s about how you both talk to and about older people. It’s about not alienating older people. It’s about avoiding lazy stereotypes. It’s about the language/words you use. If you/your business target older people this will be an incredibly useful resource for you, as well as being just interesting in general and something that eventually affects us all.

I was prompted to blog about this today as I called someone out on ageism online just yesterday. He totally and utterly would not accept that he was using inappropriate language, and pitching generations against each other. I am not an ‘educate yourself’ kind of person but it enraged me as his post was about how older people should not discriminate against younger people and criticise their use of language, and in doing so he proceeded to belittle older people. One of the calls to action on the Ageing Better Website is about calling out ageism when you see it. So I did. Reader – I’m not sure it did it any good, but I’m still glad I did it.

Will you call out ageism if you see it?

Being older, wiser, and ragier is a bloody good thing. Embrace it.