Well intentioned ageism is alive and well - Christine Grahame

Well intentioned ageism is alive and wellWell intentioned ageism is alive and well
Well intentioned ageism is alive and well
I have written before about ageism in society, some of it well intentioned, like offering to give you a hand into a car, but there is a big downside.

As the late Max Bygraves – there you go that’s a test of age - used to say, “I wanna tell you a story”. Here is mine.

I had an appointment for the Eye Pavilion and put the details on my phone. I turned up on time for 2pm as the letter had said 2-2.30pm.

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I had therefore re-assigned 3.30pm for a work-related appointment back at Parliament. (By the way 2-2.30pm appears to be the approximate date of first test not the process).

​Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame.​Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame.
​Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame.

I checked in at the ground floor reception: name, date of birth, nature of appointment, consultant. I was directed to the lift to the third floor.

The first surprise was that the waiting room was packed, chock a block, with chairs jammed together and just one or two vacant. Not a good sign when Covid is out and about. Most waiting like me were of I guess pensionable age.

I discreetly moved my chair to give me a wee bit more air space. Time passed and I became anxious about my schedule. Finally after a 30 minute wait (which I understand is pretty usual) and I accept that, I went into the first consulting room where my encounter with the first of the medics quite took me aback.

First, she asked if I minded two trainees in the room. Of course, I did not. That was not the issue. Now hold onto your bifocals, there was the following exchange with me though I admit she did look apologetic )

“Because of your age being over 75 I am required to ask the following questions” And here they are.

“Do you know where you are?” and the second beezer “What year is it?”

She was not at fault. Some person or committee had issued the edict that anyone over 75 must be subjected to these randomly insulting questions.

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So, Lothian Health Board or CEO, these questions in my book breach discrimination legislation, therefore unless there is cause for concern, pack them in. By the way. I missed the Parly appointment, I suppose pensioners are presumed not to have schedules! Did anyone I wonder ever ask the late Queen Elizabeth if she knew where she was or what the year was?

Christine is MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale



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