challenge the preconceptions around ageing. Our members want to achieve in life, be active and keep experiencing new things".
Respondents also said that these terms are commonplace in TV programmes and social media and are even used regularly by members of their family. Many say they simply do not feel old enough to have these terms thrown at them but the most common reason for disliking such sayings is because "they are not an accurate representation of older people today".
Invited to share their stories of patronising language, individuals said :
“A neighbour sometimes uses the phrase 'old man syndrome' if she spots a mark on my clothing before I do. It sounds as if she is accusing me of dribbling, which I do not”.
“I was 68 and had a medical problem and the doctor said I "had to attend the 'Geriatric Department"”.
“I often get the comment, "Bless you", when talking to people, giving the impression it is amazing I still have opinions”.
“It is disgraceful that the term 'OAP' is still used. Why should someone be labelled according to whether they receive the state pension? Many still work as well!”
Of the members of the public questioned, over half (53%) admited to regularly using words that were deemed patronising by older people. Nearly a third (31%) confessed to using "fogey" about an older person, while over a quarter (27%) have used "biddy" and 1 in 5 (18%) used the term "past it" to describe old people. A fifth of people even said they'd called someone "Grandpa" or "Grandma", despite not being related to them. Having said that, many said that these terms are often not meant to be patronising and are used because "it’s just banter" (43%), "to be friendly" (38%) or simply because "it’s widely used language" (35%).
Clearly, that is not the way it is seen by the old men and women who are the recipients.