The Great Adventure

They say growing old is not for sissies. We need to change the way society looks at and deals with growing old. The prevailing view of ageing is that it’s something to be feared. The ageing process is a natural part of the life cycle. Instead of dreading old age, we should be celebrating the fact that we are living longer, that ageing is not a burden but an opportunity. Growing older really can be the ‘great adventure’.

A survey carried out in the UK asked older people what their main priorities were. The first issue was health. You would expect the second to be money or pensions but it was actually the maintenance of social contacts. Keeping in touch with people is an essential part of healthy living when you get older. Many over 65’s are mortgage-free and fitter and healthier than previous generations. It’s a time when we can let ourselves dare to be more real, honest and open. We can drop the niceties and strictures of who we have been brought up to be, and start to be ourselves, without being so bothered about how others may ‘see’ us.

Old age is an opportunity to do all those things you never had time for before. Instead of spending billions on walling off the ageing, we should be spending more to improve the quality of life among the aged.

Age Action Ireland is a charity which promotes positive ageing and better policies and services for older people. Yesterday, saw the announcement of the winners of the 2010 Silver Surfer Awards with Age Action. The awards aim to acknowledge elderly people who have used IT and the internet for fun and to improve the quality of their lives. Internet access is a great way to combat isolation and allow older people to communicate with relatives abroad. You can read the stories of the winners from each category here.

The top accolade of the 3 Silver Surfer Award 2010 went to a 95 year old grandfather from Dublin who was nominated by his granddaughter. This goes to show… you’re never too old to embrace technology!

7 Responses to The Great Adventure

  1. Annb says:

    Great to see you back at the keyboard Steph – I came across this lady recently and she is how I want to be when I grow up! Alice is the oldest holocaust survivor and at 107 (this month) she is an inspiration. Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2ftYyo5zRc

    • Steph says:

      Ann – You’re spot on. I do tend to ignore my blog when I’m out of sorts so the fact that I’m back, has to be a good sign. I hadn’t thought of it like that but now that you point it out, I feel better already 😀

      Alice sure is inspirational. She is the epitome of growing old gracefully.

      I wholeheartedly agree with her when she says… “the worst thing in life, in my opinion, is boredom.”

      I happen to believe that a lot of nursing home residents actually deteriorate and die from boredom rather than old age. To see them sitting staring into space day after day, it has to be soul-destroying.

      I also believe that how you are in old age, is more based on your lifestyle and your environment than on your genes. The more you challenge yourself in life (including old age), the more enjoyable your life will be.

  2. Grannymar says:

    I am all set for the party, but PLEASE do not keep me hanging on when the fun stops!

  3. Grannymar says:

    Steph, I heard all about that guy from Twitter when the Award results were announced and read further about him in the Irish Times.

  4. magnumlady says:

    Welcome back Steph. I hope you are feeling better. What a great idea. There are many silver surfers out there. Our local library gives free lessons about computers and the internet and there are four ‘silver surfers’ that attend.

    • Steph says:

      magnumlady – thanks for that.

      Sorry, I’m a bit distracted at the moment.

      Right now, I’m trying to apply the philosophy of ageing (above) to dealing with MRSA infection. It sure ain’t for sissies!

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