Age discrimination does it exist?

By Bernice Fitzgibbon
Bernice Fitzgibbon
Written By Bernice Fitzgibbon


Age discriminationWe live in a society that is opposed to any form of discrimination and laws that protect us from this so with this in mind I am asking the question, “age discrimination does it exist?”

Now I am NOT neutral on this, in fact, I have a very strong opinion on this subject which I will share with you shortly.

We are an aging population over 60 with the number reaching 841 million in 2013, and expected to treble by 2050 ( pdf

Never before in history has this happened. It has been brought about by the post, World War 2 baby boom but also by the increase in life expectancy since this time. The average age of a life was 65-75 but now you can add 10-20 years to this.

The problem is society hasn’t changed its perception or attitude to accommodate the change and still view people over 60 as being old. With this, there is an expectation that once you reach this age you are less capable of performing activities a young version of you can do! It can even go as far as looking at you as less able to function in every area of life
Okay, now it is obvious by age discrimination I am not talking about the young, although I am sure they are also discriminated against. I am not addressing that here. What I am concerned about is the blanket attitude towards older people
Now I am going to explain why I am taking this so personally and it isn’t just because I am in this age group, but because of my partner.

So here is the story this far! My partner who is now 72 years went for a job in construction. He had just completed a major contract and need one more before he retired from this line of work. He had just run a 50 km race 2 months earlier and was maintaining his fitness level to compete in another ultra, later in the year. He had finally managed to get an opportunity for another project on the recommendation of someone already on the job.

Before going, he had to pass a medical. At this, he was required to do a urine sample so he hydrated himself beforehand. However instead of doing the medical side first he ended up with the physio who strapped monitors on and got him to perform physical tasks. These he handled well but as his bladder filled up and he became uncomfortable he said to the guy I need to go to the toilet.
However, the guy kept going saying it was only going to take a few minutes longer. My partner was already stressed so his blood pressure was elevated but with the increased discomfort of the full bladder, it shot up even further. The physio kept commenting on his elevated heart rate but took no notice of my partners growing discomfort.

Finally, he said he wasn’t happy with the result and contacted the company who arranged the medical. They, in turn, said, pull the plug and that was it.

When my partner returned home and told me this I took him straight to our GP who on examination said although his BP and pulse were elevated it wasn’t at all unusual for this to happen given the circumstances.

As he is on hypertensive medication his BP was usually kept under control, and if not being on medication, was a prerequisite for a position then over half the population would be unemployed.

He was about to contact the company when he received a call from them to say that they didn’t need him. He said could he have another medical and he would pay but was informed that he was not successful.

Now you may say well he didn’t pass his medical it had nothing to do with his age and you may be right. However would someone younger have been given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to do the medical again
I forgot to say that I am a Registered Nurse with over 30 years’ experience, and have seen so many people with elevated BP and heart rate especially under pressure which in any other situation was normal. I have worked with young people who were on hypertensive medication but still able to do a very physically job.

I have noticed the shape of some of the men and women on these job sites that could barely get around and struggled to do a day’s work yet still got the job. So am I just being over sensitive about this whole age thing or do you think I have a genuine reason to be concerned?

Just to add his BP this morning before med was 137/81 P 55

On taking meds and after exercise 127/89 P 66!

They are within normal range!

The bottom line here is I needed to get it off my chest and I do believe we, as a group, are being discriminated against even if you believe it wasn’t so in this case!

What are your thoughts? Would love to hear.

Bernice xx


Bernice Fitzgibbon
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Bernice Fitzgibbon

Transformation Consultant and Health and Wellness Specialist. Registered Nurse Certified Hypnotherapist and Accredited Life Coach and Author
Creator of :Changing Your Thoughts, Living Deliberately and Ageless Living.
Bernice Fitzgibbon
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