This is not how the headline reads but it is perhaps a better, more veracious, reading of the survey finding. That Britons over 50 are treated rather better by shopkeepers and the health service than are the rest of us. For only 25% of them complain about being shabbily treated by those sectors of the economy:
Middle-aged treated like ‘second class citizens’, with 25 per cent of over-50’s poorly treated in shops and hospitals
How did they reach this conclusion?
Age discrimination leaves people feeling like “second-class citizens” charities say, as a survey reveals that a quarter of people over 50 claim they have been unfairly treated in shops, restaurants and hospitals. Ageism also appeared to be linked to poorer health among those it affected, the study shows, with reported victims of age discrimination more likely to suffer health problems, or develop them over time. The findings have been published in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, which surveyed more than 7,500 people over the age of 50 and followed their progress for six years. Participants were asked to respond to statements such as “you are treated with less respect or courtesy”, “you receive poorer service than other people in restaurants and stores”, and “you receive poorer service or treatment than other people from doctors or hospitals”.
Note how they did this. They didn’t survey the total population and then compare shab rates. They asked only those over 50 of their own impressions. Even that “worse than other people” is only the impression, not anything established in fact.
And let’s be honest about it, we might be the nation of shopkeepers but we’re not exactly good at the customer experience, are we? Compare and contrast to the American. And the NHS? That only 25% complain of being badly treated, without respect, is a pure bleedin’ miracle.
Our conclusion therefore must be that the over 50s are better treated than the rest of us.
Which is as it should be of course, we Britons are well known for respecting maturity and sagacity, we’ve not succumbed to treating the follies of youth seriously now, have we?