Thursday 5 July 2012, 10:40
If you're over 65, is it how you imagined? If you're under 65, how much do you think about being old?
Day to day I don't, but since working on the You and Yours Ageing Season called 'When I'm 65' I have realised that I'm actually rather apprehensive about being elderly. And my worst fears? Perhaps the thought of sitting in a chair all day, with a knitted blanket over my knees, eating liquidised roast chicken dinner, and possibly not knowing my own name.
Of course this is not the reality for most pensioners. According to Guy Robertson, in his paper 'Positive Ageing - from the political to the personal' only a quarter of people over 85 have dementia, whilst in the Republic of Ireland 90% of the care budget is spent on only 4.4% of the people over 65.
I'm not trying to belittle the devastating effect illness can have on the quality of some people's lives but I have realised there are many reasons to be cheerful. And if you consider that scientists, health professionals and the like have spent so much time and energy finding ways to increase life expectancy, (1/3 of babies born in 2012 are expected to survive to celebrate their 100th birthday according to recent report by the Office of National Statistics)- it seems churlish, at best, to be frightened of actually living that dream.
Here on You and Yours, Radio 4's consumer programme, we regularly examine key issues confronting older people. Disability and care are part of our core remit and our recent series on Adult Social Care looked in detail at the government's new policy white paper and what it might contain to improve things.
So we were a natural partner to collaborate with BBC One for the 'When I'm 65' Ageing Season.
We'll be speaking to Nick Hewer from the Apprentice about The Town That Never Retired - an experiment where 15 retirees in their seventies are sent back to work and 68 year old Birds of a Feather Actress Lesley Joseph will talk about the challenges of being a full time carer, after living with two pensioners Pat and Malcolm for the programme When I get Older.
We'll also be talking about Silver entrepreneurs, older people in Advertising with John Hegarty and visit a pioneering dementia village in Holland.
Do get in touch to share your thoughts on the positive aspects of ageing or send us a picture showing why you're glad to be over 65.
Karen Dalziel is a Producer on You and Yours which is broadcast weekdays at 12.04.
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