Don’t delay your application for job seekers allowance. They can get a bit narky if you leave it a few weeks – they did with me – apparently it’s because your NI contributions lapse, so I’d do it ASAP if I were you. It’s easy to apply on line.
I totally agree with you about ageism, it’s absolutely rife – especially within recruitment agencies. They use other terms but it’s still not on.
Good luck with your search, where are you based and what are you looking for?