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Ageism in the third age.

Kydd, Angela; Fleming, Anne; Gardner, Sue; Hafford-Letchfield, Trish


Angela Kydd

Anne Fleming

Sue Gardner

Trish Hafford-Letchfield


Liat Ayalon

Clemens Tesch-R�mer


In the developed world, later life has brought more opportunities to contribute to society and pursue personal goals outside the role of paid work, combined with less stigma and greater recognition of the worth of older people. These values do not necessarily extend to the 'oldest old' where some people in the fourth age (people 80 years old and over) continue to face increasing stigma and societal stereotypes from those in the third age (people 60-79 years old). Ageism between these two cohorts is rarely discussed in the literature. Potential ageism involves stereotypical perceptions of the oldest old and may prove detrimental to those transitioning from the third to the fourth age if a resultant resistance to maintain their engagement and independence into older age occurs. This chapter explores the subtleties of these inter-cohort ageist discourses particularly from a health and social care perspective and considers the implications for transitions of older people between the third and fourth age. It addresses the challenges and adjustments needed to ensure continuing and inclusive engagement in society, in order to support independence to grow old without the fear of discrimination.


KYDD, A., FLEMING, A., GARDNER, S. and HAFFORD-LETCHFIELD, T. 2018. Ageism in the third age. In Ayalon, L. and Tesch-Römer, C. (eds.) Contemporary perspectives on ageism. International perspectives on aging, 19. Cham: Springer [online], chapter 8, pages 115-130. Available from:

Online Publication Date May 23, 2018
Publication Date May 31, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 27, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 27, 2018
Print ISSN 2197-5841
Electronic ISSN 2197-585X
Publisher Springer
Pages 115-130
Series Title International perspectives on aging
Series Number 19
Series ISSN 2197-585X
Book Title Contemporary perspectives on ageism
Chapter Number Chapter 8
ISBN 9783319738192
Keywords Third age; Fourth age; Oldest old; Ageism
Public URL


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