“How much does it cost?”

I’m at Oxford City Council’s Older People’s Day on 30th September, encouraging older people to take up table tennis. I know they’ll want to know that they can afford it.

For Cowley Table Tennis it’s great value at £2 an hour or £3 for two hours, tea and biscuits included. But it’s not only about money. Whether it’s table tennis or any other activity, if we want older people to be more active, we need to think about what other costs are involved. Read More →

So, London’s first luxury retirement village has opened. Fancy moving in? OK, apartments start at £650k plus £1000 a month service charge, but look at those amenities!

I can see the attraction of living among people of the same generation. We feel comfortable with people like ourselves, who know the same song lyrics and remember slide-rules. Who’ve lived through the same historical events. Who organise their days in a similar way. But is segregating elderly people really the way forward? Read More →

Oh, but the elderly are so morose and anxious and cranky and stubborn. It turns out they’re misers too. … but we can at least sympathise: old men think that they are ignored, hated and laughed at; what’s more, every hurt is horrible for a frail body.    Cicero

Yes, grumpy old men go back to ancient times. But so does sympathy for the trials of old age and appreciation of its strengths. These are themes in Tom Payne’s book The Ancient Art of Growing Old, which looks at how the Greeks and Romans regarded old age.  Read More →

The best kept secret of old age: no, not how to avoid wrinkles, they come with the territory. But the fact that it is an exciting, liberating place to be.

Not for everyone. Bad stuff happens and sometimes it overwhelms us. We need to hear the voices of those who suffer in old age and address their health and social needs.

But at the same time, we need to hear the voices which reflect the joy of later life. That it is possible to grow and thrive, and to enjoy being older. Read More →