About 68 per cent of Australians aged 50 and over believe ageism is a serious problem in the country, according to a poll released on Friday.
The poll, commissioned by the advocacy group EveryAGE Counts, took a national sample of 1,042 Australians over the age of 50 to examine their attitudes and experiences of ageism, and segmented the participants into 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s age groups, reports Xinhua news agency.
It found those in their 60s are most likely to have experienced ageism in the past year, with 37 per cent reporting at least one incident, compared to 26 per cent for all people over 50.
Twenty-eight per cent of people in their 50s said they have been rejected for a job due to their age, while one in four people aged in their 50s or 60s noted that they have “been made to feel like I am too old for my work”.
Marlene Krasovitsky, campaign director of EveryAGE Counts, said that unlike most national polling, which lumps older Australians together as one monolithic group, this new research reflects that attitudes to ageism and experiences of ageism vary significantly across a very diverse “over-50” group.
“For example, this polling shows us that Australians in their 50s and 60s are likely to encounter ageism at work or when applying for jobs,” Krasovitsky said.
“Those in their 80s and 90s, conversely, are more likely to report experiencing ageism in the health system, either by being denied treatments or by being ignored in favour of a carer,” she added.
As many states marked the Ageism Awareness Day on Friday, the expert stressed that the fact seven out of 10 Australians consider ageism to be a serious problem “should make us all sit up and take notice”.