How we move the agenda beyond seeing a person through the prism of their age is something that I fear will be a long hard road to tread. Older people are seen by many younger people as an unnecessary drain on public resources, while at the same time many older people who want to contribute more to society are restricted from doing so by ageist policies and practices.
Nearly every announcement from the Chancellor is quickly followed by an analysis of winners and losers. In the analysis that followed the comprehensive spending review 2015, the NHS was seen to be a winner (at least compared to other areas of public spending - many of which saw further swinging cuts to budgets). But who are the winners and losers between the generations?
Our own research has shown there is currently a wide variation in how people experience later life. Despite many people having positive experiences, too many people still suffer from ill health or disability, experience poverty or financial insecurity, feel lonely and isolated, or lack meaning and purpose in their lives.
Here in Britain, we love to depict the pensioner as a sort of curmudgeonly character shuffling around, bent over their walking stick, complaining about anything to anyone who will listen. Just look at the 'elderly crossing' sign which lines our roads! This is a classic example of the outdated image of ageing.