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Age is just a number, not an excuse to be treated differently.

ageism in healthcare campaign imageArticle by Fabafterfifty

Perceptions of age are slow to change, and when treated differently in social situations it could just be our pride that’s hurt. When it comes to be treated differently by the medical establishment , it’s our health and quality of life that are affected.

Celebrated actor Sir Patrick Stewart is starring in a new viral campaign launching today by leading cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, to help promote their Age Old Excuse campaign which aims to improve the care and treatment of older cancer patients.

The two minute film sets out to readdress people’s misconceptions of older people by focussing on a three very lively and active characters from a 72-year-old nightclub DJ to a 79-year old ju-jitsu expert. It finishes with Sir Patrick Stewart stating that “age is just a number”, who at the age of 72, emphasises the point that being an older person shouldn’t mean being treated differently.

Older people less likely to receive cancer treatment

The UK has some of the worst cancer survival rates in Europe for older peopleand older people are less like to receive treatment than their younger counterparts.

The Age Old Excuse campaign aims to tackle ageism in the NHS and to empower older people to be aware of the standards of care they should be expecting. Macmillan is calling on people to join the campaign to push healthcare providers for better clinical assessment of older people so that treatment recommendations are based on fitness rather than someone’s date of birth.

If we want to ensure that family members are treated fairly and with dignity and respect in old age, then it is imperative that we lend our support to this campaign now. As society comes to terms with an ageing population and the issues, challenges and opportunities this creates, then we all have to play our part to ensure that we have more options, respect and autonomy as we ourselves age.

To support Macmillan go to macmillan.org/ageoldexcuse



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