Sixty-one per cent of people in the UK believe people are treated worse the older they get, according to new research by the charity Help the Aged.
The research comes as groups representing the elderly lobby the government to include older people in its forthcoming equality bill.
"Despite millions of older people being subjected to ageist attitudes and practices each day, the government doesn't seem to think age discrimination is a big deal," Kate Jopling, head of public affairs for Help the Aged, said.
The research also reveals 74 per cent of older people believe the government does not respond to their needs.
The equality bill legislates against discrimination in the provision of goods and services, but the charity is calling for the government to expand its definition to include age discrimination.
Ms Jopling continued: "While it deliberates over whether or not to introduce legislation, older people are denied access to the marketplace, insurance and banking facilities - even medical treatment - because they are deemed 'too old'.
"In an increasingly ageing society, this is a moral outrage."