Coming of Age Report – Demos Think Tank

Coming of Age Report
As a society we tend to view ageing as a ‘problem’ which must be ‘managed’ – we frequently debate how to cope with the pressure on national health services of growing numbers of older people, the cost of sustaining them with pensions and social care, and the effect on families and housing needs.
 
The core message in this report is that ageing in itself is not a policy problem to be solved, but is in fact a unique experience for each individual, which varies according to personal character- istics, experience and outlook.
 
Contrary to assumptions, many of the older people who participated in our research found that ageing was a positive experience, which had brought them greater confidence, peace
and self-acceptance.
 
However, they also commonly experienced age discrimination and age-based social stereotyping. A number of participants felt that negative social attitudes towards older people were exacerbated by policy narratives that disproportionately emphasise the costs posed by an ageing population but do not adequately recognise the contributions that older people make,
including financial contributions through taxation
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