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Liverpool commits to tackling ageism

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We need to change the way we talk about ageing – that’s the pledge that Liverpool City Council will be making next week.

On Tuesday 1 October, the UN’s International Day of Older Persons, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool Gary Millar will join other local authority leaders in signing an open letter committing the city to talking more positively about later life, ending age-based discrimination, and making Liverpool a great city to grow old in.

It is anticipated that the letter, that has been co-ordinated by the UK Network of Age-Friendly Communities, will be published in the national press.

The signing is part of National Museums Liverpool’s regular Happy Older People (HOP) network meeting at the Museum of Liverpool and Dr Anna Dixon, chief executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, will be the event’s keynote speaker.

Liverpool has a longstanding commitment to ensuring that older people can live active and engaged lives.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson signed a pledge to signal Liverpool’s commitment to being an age-friendly city in August 2012 and the city was accepted as a member of the WHO’s Age-friendly World global network  in 2014.

You can follow the events on International Day of Older Persons by using #AgeProud on social media.

Other age-friendly organisations are also welcome to make an online pledge by using this form: https://forms.gle/LmNr4medCZC2CbSG9

Gary Millar, deputy Mayor of Liverpool, said: “I am delighted to be signing this open letter for the city of Liverpool.

“Older people should be able to remain active and cherished members of our communities for as long as possible but to be able to do this we need to tackle ageism when we see it and challenge outdated stereotypes and unhelpful language.

“Research suggests that about a quarter of people over 50 have felt discriminated against whilst doing everyday tasks or accessing services and this is not something that any of us should accept.

“Liverpool committed to being an age-friendly city in 2012 and we have come a long way on that journey, but we know that we can keep getting better and better. All of us, not just the council and our partners, need to think and talk about ageing differently so we can bring discrimination to an end.”

Anna Dixon, chief executive, Centre for Ageing Better, said: “Many of us are living longer. While some of us can look forward with confidence to enjoying later life, others are being held back by outdated and damaging attitudes.

“Negative stereotypes about older age can have a pernicious effect on our self-perception, limit our ideas of what we can do as we get older and stop us making the most of these extra years.

“We are proud to have partnered with the UK Network of Age-friendly Communities on International Day of Older Persons to call for a change in how we all talk about ageing and people in later life.

“It is great to see so many influential leaders who are committed to making their communities more age-friendly, now collectively affirming their commitment talk more positively about later life. We hope everyone will join us to end ageism.”