Author(s): Flourish Itulua-Abumere
Older people have always been a major focus for social policy and because the UK is an ageing society, their importance to the subject is likely to increase further. Like other modern welfare systems, the British welfare state originated in pension provision for older people and totally this group are the main users of the health and social services and the main recipients of social security spending. Compared with unemployed people and lone parents, older people are often viewed as a group that “deserves” specific social policy and especially, social security. However, it is sometimes said that the true test of a civilized society is how it treats its older and vulnerable groups. Despite this group’s position as one of the most deserving of welfare, there are still widespread awareness of the many negative images of old age. In common with other western societies, Britain is a country in which age discrimination, or ageism, is widespread (Alcock et al, 2006).
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