The European Green Seniors, with the support of EGP, had invited people to discuss age discrimination. And 32 interested people from different countries were there.
Valentina Ludwig, from the Medical School Berlin, specialised in gerontological psychology, presented the current study commissioned by the Ministry of Family Affairs on images of old age and age discrimination in Germany. She also was part of the study-team.
Valentina told us that it is not only the young who do not trust the older ones much, but also the older ones themselves. (see video below).
There is little awareness of ageism, although there are many examples of it.
The Deputy Prime Minister from Belgium pointed out age discrimination at work and the situation of older queer people, migrants and actresses.
Our Green Senior Vice-President Christa Möller-Metzger explained why age limits are unnecessary, as there is no number from which people are old. Ageing is very individual and happens differently for everyone. ncidentally, the higher the retirement age and the average age of a society, the higher the age limits are set. Which shows once again how little meaningful these limits are. (see video below).
Our general secretary Irmgard Seidler reported on a positive example from Austria, where a law was changed so that older people can, for example, borrow against their house to install a solar system or heat pump.
In the second part of the event, there was a discussion about stereotypes in our heads and about the fact that we have to change our view of ourselves, away from the deficit-oriented to the potential-oriented image of age.
One participant wondered what would happen if older ones went on strike. Interesting idea!
We need a UN Convention on the Rights of the Elderly to give older people a legal instrument to take action against age discrimination.
It would be legally binding, like the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has achieved a lot.
Study available for download via Federal Anti Discrimination Agency/ Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes.