People are living longer. Older people are the fastest growing segment of the population. People's expectations of services are increasing. And yet age discrimination is still deeply engrained in our culture. For all these reasons it has become more important than ever to make sure everyone can benefit from the things society offers - regardless of their age.
By thinking about the impact of decisions on older age groups from the outset, and making (sometimes very small) changes to services or policies, we can greatly improve uptake and provide something that is genuinely appropriate and accessible for everyone. Such thinking is called age-proofing and to encourage more of it we have created a toolkit of resources to help you.
Age Proofing is literally 'proofing' or protecting against inadvertent (or deliberate) age inequality. It is a means for ensuring services (and the policies and strategies that create them) are age equal or age sensitive.
Ensuring age equal services does not mean treating all ages the same or equally, it means sometimes taking special steps to make sure all age groups have an equal possibility to benefit from a service or policy.
The rationale behind promoting age-sensitive improvement in the planning and delivery of goods, facilities, services and environments is to make sure that everyone can play an active role throughout later life as both citizens and consumers and are not marginalised or disadvantaged because of their age.
Age proofing toolkit
The toolkit contains the following elements:
More resources are being added to this site as they are developed, including the original literature review underpinning this work, briefings for managers, a PowerPoint presentation and a quiz to stimulate discussion at team meetings or induction events. These can be used to help increase understanding of the purpose of age proofing, to demonstrate the need for it or to provide practical examples of the benefits it can bring.
Literature Review (.pdf format, 561 Kb) Quiz (.pdf format, 357 Kb) - email email@example.com for a copy of the answers
- Presentation - to follow soon
- Age Proofing Consultation report (.pdf format, 686 Kb)
Further sources of help
Age equality addresses only one of the strands of discrimination that people may face. People can be disadvantaged because they live in areas with limited access to services (rural-proofing) or because of their race, gender, religion, disability or sexuality. More information about this can be found on the equalities and diversity pages on each organisation's own website:
- PCT - www.oxfordshirepct.nhs.uk/have-your-say/equality-and-diversity/default.aspx
- OCC - equality and cohesion webpage
- WODC -
- Oxfordshire LINk
- Oxfordshire Supporting People
- Healthy Communities
- NHS Choices
- NHS Centre for Involvement
supports NHS organisations and staff on issues of patient and public involvement
- Health Poverty Index
shows a range of comparative data related to health
- Department of Health
- South East Public Health Observatory
- Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP)
- Integrated care - evidence base
- Healthy Communities and Older People LAA block
Health and Well-Being Partnership is not responsible for the content of external websites.
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