The impact of marginalising older people in society

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As societies across the world continue to age, the issue of marginalisation of older people has become a pressing concern.

With advancements in healthcare and increased life expectancy, the global population of older adults is increasing dramatically. For the first time in history, adults 60 and over are now the fastest growing group in our population. According to the World Health Organisation, the number of people aged 60 and over is expected to double by 2050, and to triple by 2100. Since 2011, in Bath and North East Somerset alone, we have seen an increase of 17.5% in the number of residents aged 65 years and over.

In an aging society, it is essential to provide resources and support for older adults to maintain their health and well-being such as access to medical care, social services, and opportunities for social engagement. Despite their significant contributions to society, older people often face discrimination, neglect, and exclusion due to their age. This form of marginalisation can have far-reaching impacts on their physical and mental well-being, financial security, social interactions, and overall quality of life.

Impact on Mental Health

Negative attitudes towards older adults can have a major impact on their wellbeing with studies showing that it can lead to increased stress and poorer health outcomes. Negative experiences, such as being spoken down to or patronised can have a significant impact on mental health. Equally, if an individual experiences ageism in the workplace, or misses the routine of working life once they have retired, this can have a detrimental impact on their state of mind.

Social isolation and loneliness often follow and are well documented problems too often faced by our older community members. Social connections and interactions are essential to mental and physical health, and overall wellbeing.

As well as having our own extensive activities and learning programme, our Good Living team also work with local partners and community groups that make a huge difference to the lives of older adults. To find the right group of service for you, please contact our team on 01225 486401.

Physical Health

Familiarity is important to us and, as we age, many people wish to continue to live in their own home. Unfortunately, there are two million households amongst those aged 55 and over, which do not meet basic living standards. As well as creating a cause of stress and concern for the inhabitants, living in these circumstances can also increase the risk of accidents and developing serious health problems.

St John’s offers high-quality almshouse accommodation to support older adults wishing to continue to live independently and in a community of likeminded people. Our residents often get involved in various social activities and through this, friendships blossom and connections are made, thus positively impacting overall health and wellbeing.

Financial Wellbeing

Finances can be a major stressor for older adults. No longer being in paid work can cause frustration, and navigating the burdens of living in today’s society can take its toll.

Our Good Living team offers an Advice Service for alms-residents and over 55s in Bath and North East Somerset. The aim is to enhance knowledge through educational talks and tutorials, to provide support to older adults when managing their finances.

In conclusion, the marginalisation of older people is a significant issue that affects individuals, families, and society as a whole.

It is essential to recognise the value and contributions of older adults and to promote policies and programs that support their inclusion, dignity, and quality of life. This includes efforts to combat ageism, ensure equal access to healthcare and social services, and provide opportunities for social engagement and meaningful work. By addressing the marginalisation of older people, we can build a more just and equitable society for people of all ages.