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Questionnaire: Have You Experienced Ageism?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 15 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Ageism Discrimination Age Assumptions

Ageism is a type of discrimination against individuals based on their ages. Though the term was first used to describe discrimination against older individuals it has since been embraced to describe discrimination against anyone based on his or her age. Identifying ageism can be hard, and many people aren't even sure that they have experienced ageism when it affects them personally.

To help you figure out if you have been a victim of ageism we have put together this questionnaire. Answer "yes" or "no" to each question, then total your answers and match the number of "yes" answers to the explanations at the end to find out if you have experienced ageism.


1.Has anyone ever made assumptions about your interests because of your age?
2. Has anyone ever referred to you as part of an age group instead of as an individual?
3. Have you ever felt passed over for an opportunity simply because of your age?
4. Have you ever felt the need to lie about your age to be considered for an opportunity?
5. Has anyone ever expressed concern about your health simply due to your age?
6. Have you ever felt as though you were not served fairly in a shop due to your age?
7. Have you ever felt that you were not treated fairly in a healthcare setting due to your age?
8. Has anyone ever made assumptions about your mobility because of your age?
9. Have you ever felt that you were targeted for suspicious products or services because of your age?
10. Has anyone ever said you would be treated differently if you weren't your current age?
11. Have you ever felt like the punchline of a joke because of your age?
12. Have you ever felt hurt or humiliated because of comments about your age?

Have You Experienced Ageism?

If you answered "yes" to between one and four questions then you may have experienced ageism. It may be that others are treating you differently because of your age, or that you feel this way for some reason. Whatever the case, if you consistently feel that your age is a cause for comment amongst others or that they can not move past your age for whatever reason then you may need to confront this situation head-on. Request a time to meet privately with those who are making you feel this way and explain how their comments and actions have affected you. Keep records of what occurs at the meetings, and if changes are noticed afterwards in case you feel that you need to report the situation to a higher office in the future.

If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then you have likely experienced ageism. Even if comments are made out of concern or actions are taken with your comfort in mind, if others base their perceptions of you on nothing other than age then you are not being seen as a whole, well-rounded individual. It could be that others are unaware of what they are doing and you will be able to find a way to gently let them know that there is more to you than your age, though you may need to prepare for a serious discussion about how their attitudes adversely affect your life. If you find it hard to get the seriousness of this situation across then consider picking up literature on ageism from your GP or local authority to help underscore your point.

If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then you have very likely experienced ageism. In fact, ageism may be having a significant impact on your life given that you are likely to have encountered it in a variety of different settings and from a variety of different people. Depending on the circumstances you may be able to confront this ageism by writing a letter of complaint or expressing your displeasure by taking your business elsewhere, but there may be situations in which you will not be able to find satisfaction any way other than making a grievance or taking a claim to a tribunal. Contacting an age related charity such as Age Concern may help you determine how best to confront the ageism you've been experiencing.

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It is understood that PM Cameron intends to introduce a two tier pension system for pensioners in the near future. If this comes into being it means that existing pensioner will receive £35 per week less than new pensioners. Do you agree that such a distinction would be discriminatory?Many existing pensioners have contributed for more than 50 years towards their present pension as well as paying National Insurance, SERPs and Graduated Pension. Many also served two years National Service as well as those who were regular soldiers and defended this Country, something PM Cameron has not done. This new scheme would mean that the Riff Raff of the world could come here and plunder our Welfare System without contributing, quite apart from those who live here and go through life without contributing. Would you please give judgement on this mater?
henry - 24-May-12 @ 9:02 AM
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