'Ageism and age discrimination in social care in the United Kingdom' review

21 December 2009

The Department of Health commissioned the Centre for Policy on Ageing to undertake a literature review on ageing and social care. The review sought to uncover whether older people in care were discriminated against, compared to younger users of social care, in terms of:

  • the services that were planned and delivered for them
  • the way funding was allocated
  • the way needs assessments were carried out.

The review found that the culture of seeing older people as 'vulnerable' and needing protection was problematic and burdensome. A degree of institutional and structural ageism existed, where low quality services for older people (65 years plus) were accepted because older people expected less and a lack of resources was seen as a tolerable 'norm'.


Centre of Policy on Ageing.
Ageism and age discrimination in social care in the United Kingdom; a review from the literature.
Centre of Policy on Ageing; 2009.