As I have mentioned in previous posts, there is no shortage of subject matter to write about, but this week, one subject has stood head and shoulders above the others, as it seems to have been talked about in the media, on most days recently. This has obviously prompted social conversations, of which I have had many. All relating to getting older.
My most meaningful, was over dinner one evening with some very close friends (you know who you are!) We have all been friends for in excess of 20 years and some we have known for 30. One person mentioned that considering everything I had been through, they felt that I had aged the least. To be fair I think there were also some old age sight issues going on too!
I said, that despite my health, I was quite enjoying getting old, watching my kids grow up, getting rid of my debts, and enjoying some of the more simple things of life. I wasn’t bothered by the ageing process as I had got used to the constant changes in my body from my treatment. I also said that it was part of a natural process, that we age and die. Well that conversation certainly opened a can of worms!!
Just from this small sample, it is obvious that we are going to have problems with a continually ageing population. Most people will have to work on until state pension age, but where will the jobs be? If 50 year olds are struggling to find work, imagine if you were 60!! My opinion is that we are turning into a very ageist society.
As I was digesting our dinner conversation, (no pun intended) my thoughts turned to some recent reports that I had read, about the health of our older population and what we were doing to improve things. Well it seems, not a lot. In fact the picture seems to be looking worse!!
It certainly is great news that we are living longer, but we also need to look closely at the options for elderly people, particularly, those living with, or recovering from a long term disease. Not everyone will be fit enough to work on till they are 70, so what will the rest of us be doing?
I also read another depressing story from a carer, who was looking after the elderly. Link below.
Is this really part of the system that is designed to care for us in our later years? Box ticking, and form filling,being bound up in red tape, with little focus on the patients needs. Maybe my friends are right and old age is something to be feared? That certainly wasn’t the retirement dream I was sold!
How do you feel about old age? Are you able to grow old gracefully?