Once you start looking, ageism is everywhere.

Just before the first lockdown, Amelia Hill in the Guardian commented on a report from the Centre for Ageing Better noting, “Older people are mostly seen as incompetent, hostile or a burden on others”. Hill also cited other research which shows that ageing is linked to worse health outcomes.

After a brief hiatus during the pandemic, we’re back to hearing about older people as burdens and bed blockers. In a letter to the Economist last year, Ruth Fennell wrote: “I suggest that you examine your own prejudices … as the zeitgeist allows things to be said and written about older people which would not be said about other groups”.

One of the surprising places ageism has cropped up is in criticism of Saga, the company that has been catering to the needs and interests of the over-50s for decades, providing holidays, insurance and lifestyle products. Jeff Prestridge in The Mail on Sunday, he writes: "What a sorry Saga: Now it seems even the over-50s magazine is biased against the old, as it goes back on a fantastic lifetime deal." recently decided to withdraw a lifetime deal for its magazine subscribers. Prestridge explains that Saga has written to customers who, in the early 1990s, were offered the chance to take out a lifetime subscription to its popular monthly Saga Magazine, for between £70 and £90 – a bargain given it now retails at £5.95. The subscription contract entitled them to receive 12 copies of Saga Magazine per year for life. Now, the subscribers have been told that from June 2023 they’ll no longer receive the magazine in print form, but only in digital form via Saga's app. If they want to continue receiving a hard copy of the magazine, they must now pay a new annual fee of £29.95.

This has understandably angered many lifetime subscribers, who accuse the company of reneging on its deal and discriminating against them based on their age. Prestridge writes that a subscriber reported to him: "To be told we can only continue receiving a print copy if we make an annual payment of £29.95 is unacceptable. I paid for a lifetime subscription with the understanding I would receive the hardcopy magazine for life.... a contract of sorts? I have no intention of trying to read the magazine via a small screen.... have Saga lost the plot here......now a company of 30 or 40 somethings with no appreciation of what the recipients of this magazine really require."

The opinions of people over 75 matter and ageism undermines our ability to be a good society.

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