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Push Back Ageism Campaign

The Third Age Trust has recently begun a Push Back Ageism Campaign, which has 2 main aims, one being to challenge Ageism and the other being to promote Positive Ageing. A Working Group consisting of 3 Trustees, 3 u3a members and 2 Trust staff has been set up to plan and oversee any initiatives in connection with the Campaign.

We are working with external organisations who are also challenging Ageism and promoting Positive Ageing to change the representation of older adults in the media, challenge discrimination against older adults and influence policy makers. Another important element is working with the providers of goods and services to design products both practically useful for older adults’ well-being, but are also appealing to use. I’m sure we have all cringed at the design of some things, such as shoes and walking sticks! We will also be promoting a positive view of older adults and ageing.

So far, we have agreed to partner with the Design Age Institute, the newly forming Age Activism Network, Reimagining the Future of Older Adults and the Centre for Ageing Better, as well as a group of Researchers at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen: 3 of their PhD students recently did a series of national webinars for us about Ageism in the Media, Ageism in Technology and Ageism in Healthcare.

In general terms, these organisations will use the lived experiences of our members to influence their projects and our members will benefit by having their voices heard and by making a significant contribution towards improving the quality of life for older adults, including the generations to come. We may also survey members in order to gather qualitative information as necessary to support a challenge.

We are currently planning a variety of interesting and exciting events to further our Campaign, more information will be available early in the autumn, keep an eye on the website, the newsletters and Third Age Matters.

One initiative within the Design Age Institute is ‘This Age Thing’, which was set up to bring together a community of designers, businesses, service-providers, researchers, policy makers and older adults. We aim to celebrate celebrating ageing and amplify positive stories about getting older, and to influence designers to design better products. They are currently gathering information to challenge designers about the design of walking frames and being able to quote from peoples lived experience and real-life situations adds strength to the challenge. Also, as part of that, the Helen Hamlyn Trust has issued a competition for young designers at the Royal College of Art to design a walking frame that will look good, but also be fit for purpose. Apparently, 87% of falls in the USA are caused by people falling over with their walking frames, which are very similar in design to those available in the UK.

Do you have a story to tell about walking frames, good or bad, funny or serious?

Would you be happy for us to use your story? We will, of course, ensure that you remain anonymous, we will never reveal your name or contact details to anyone without first seeking your permission.

If you do have a story that you would be willing to share, please send it to me by 20th August: sandi.rickerby@u3a.org.uk

Thank you.

Sandi Rickerby
Trustee for the North East
Chair of the Push Back Ageism Working Group