A National Council for Ageing and Older People study finds people feel discriminated against because of their age when dealing with health and social services.

When you are old, people treat you differently, says Mamo McDonald, chairperson of Age and Opportunity, the national agency that challenges stereotypes of older people and works to improve their quality of life. 

A feminist and former chairperson of the Irish Countrywomen's Association, she was horrified when a doctor  effectively told her to put up with pain caused by arthritis because in his opinion it was, 

More to do with your vintage than anything else.

Four hundred and fifty people were interviewed for the study. Many said that were denied access to vital health services such as the national breast cancer screening BreastCheck, or were not given satisfactory information about their condition or treatment. 

Councillor Eibhlin Byrne from the National Council on Ageing and Older People points to ageist terms used in relation to seniors, and unhelpful perceptions such as  

Choices not made because people were older and therefore the pain should be accepted...or the illness should be tolerated. 

Older people have also reported being discharged from hospital before they are fully recovered, or treatment is received. 

Dr Ciaran Donegan, consultant geriatrician in Beaumount Hospital says that healthcare professionals need more training when it comes to the care of older and elderly people. Specialist geriatricians take, 

A more holistic and pragmatic view to ageing.  

This is Say No To Ageism Week and the message from the National Council on Ageing is that no person should be denied access to services or treatment because of their age.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 May 2005. The reporter is Sinéad Crowley.