I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what we can do to help out other people. Everyone knows that the population is increasing, but with advances in medicine and technology, did you know that the aging population is one of the fastest growing groups? Apparently nearly 1 in 5 of us living in the UK at the moment will live to see our 100th birthday, the population of people 60+ is expected to reach 20 million by 2030 and 15.6% of the global population will be 65+ by 2050! You can read a bit more about these stats in this factsheet by Age UK and this campaign called “Break Social Barriers for Elderly People” by Bathing Solutions.
There’s still a massive amount of stigma around older people – you joke about it every day without even realising. For example, I’m always saying how I’m “such a granny” for doing “old person” things like sewing, knitting and staying in. But who’s made the decision that these are “old people” things, and why is that considered a bad thing anyway?
Retirement is an age that admittedly a lot of us look forward to, but many reach this age and think they’re too old to learn a new skill or try something new. In fact, it’s just the time of life where you can put the time into doing so and in reality, there’s often nothing but stigma stopping you. I love these 3 stories of older people as inspiration, sharing how they’ve tackled challenges in their lives at an older age to overcome them.
It’s important to bear this older generation in mind, but also the younger generation – the people who will be making the decisions for us in future too. (How old do I sound saying this?!) It’s a tough world for young people, and I’ve been known to say more than once that I’d hate to be growing up in the world of the internet like they are today. And it’s up to us to a certain extent to educate them – it starts at our generation and extends out both ways. As you probably know if you’re reading the blog, I volunteer helping with Brownies and helping other people is a big part of that. We drum into them a lot!
If you’re looking for some more info on breaking the barriers for the older people, there are some great talks out there on TED such as Older People are Happier, and check out these campaigns on social media: