This chapter introduces the issues raised by a consideration of older people. It discusses what is meant by ‘old age’ and considers the age demographic within the UK. It looks at what it means to be an older person in Britain today and the relevance of the law to the issues faced. It emphasises that there is really no single characteristic of ‘older people’, apart from age. It examines how health, gender, and race can all play an important part in the life of older people. The chapter also challenges some of the assumptions that surround the images of old age that are so prevalent in the media.
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