Tackling ageism through Standards

An image of an elderly man's hands holding a walking stick

Age discrimination can creep up on you. Ageism is stereotyping, discrimination or mistreatment based solely upon age. It comes from negative attitudes and beliefs about what it means to be older.

Ageism is pervasive and can have profound negative consequences on older adults’ health and wellbeing. We need to act now to improve the lives of everyone, including young people who will one day be old themselves. The WHO Global Campaign to Combat Ageism aims to build a world for all ages by changing the way we think, feel and act towards age and ageing and dealing with misconceptions about aging and health.

If there is to be a move away from traditional models of supporting our ageing societies, then we need to think about new ways of building an age-friendly society. Standards can lead the way by setting out the principles and good practice for delivering the new products, services and solutions that will meet the future needs of our ageing societies in a new environment.

The Consumers Federation of Australia (‘CFA’) is engaging with these challenges by supporting a CFA consumer representative to participate on the Standards Australia Technical Committee on Aging societies (MB-027) which is a member of the international standards development committee ISO TC 314 Aging societies.

You can act too. If you experience age discrimination at work, in housing or health care you can lodge a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Information Service by phone on 1300 656 419 or by email to infoservice@humanrights.gov.au

If you want to participate in a grassroots campaign to get the community thinking positively about ageing, join EveryAGE Counts  and watch the video ‘Can you imagine a world without ageism?’

Find out more about the CFA Standards Project and how you can represent consumers in the development of standards, contact standards@consumeraction.org.au.