This Actress Transformed Into An Elderly Woman To See How People Reacted — And She Was Shocked

A social experiment with an important message.

To celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday, BBC Radio 5 Live conducted a special social experiment about the elderly, and they recruited actress Roxanne Pallett to help them with it.

Pallett, 33, chose to participate in the social experiment for a deeply personal reason — she was very close with her grandmother.

"I feel they perhaps get a little bit overlooked and ignored and forgotten about," she told BBC Radio 5 Live of the elderly.

For the experiment, a group of special effects experts used prosthetics, makeup and clothing to turn Pallet into a 90-year-old woman named Doris. Pallet then went out into the real world to see how "Doris" would be treated in public.

While disguised, Pallett says she was completely ignored.

"I never felt so alone," she said of the experience on Twitter.

When she was struggling with walking or any physical task, she felt marginalized as people passed her by. After several minutes of struggling as "Doris" in public, only the women nearby helped her. No men provided assistance.

"Although it's unlawful to discriminate against someone solely because of their age, we know that older people ares till often stereotyped as incapable, out of touch and a burden, which is simply wrong," Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director for Age UK, said via Digital Spy.

And the effects of ageism go far beyond just what Pallett personally experienced. In the United States, 64 percent of workers polled by the AARP reported that they'd witnessed age discrimination on the job.

"When you're younger, you're not treated like that," Pallett said. "There's a lot of chivalry out there, but it doesn't seem to apply to the elderly, and that's not right. And it's not fair."