How old is too old? I've often wondered about this. At what age does a person become 'old'. You know, the sort of old where you stop being considered 'wise' and start to illicite eye rolls everytime you share the wisdom of your years. Think Uncle Albert in Only Fools and Horses, or, of course, good old Victor Meldrew. They can't always have been old, so where does the dividing line sit? Is there a day when you suddenly find that nothing you say is truly listened to and you find yourself unable to begin a sentence without starting with; 'In my day...' Or is it more gradual and, most importantly of all, will you see it coming? I'm a little concerned about this whole subject, in all honesty. I'm approaching *cough* 40 *cough* much quicker than I would like and I can distinctly remember an age when I thought 40 was positively ancient.
I couldn't even contemplate an age beyond that, it seemed like another world. Yet, here I am thinking about pensions and wondering if I should finally give in and start wearing make up. What sort of 'old' person will I become? I asked my Dad about aging and he said the best part is getting away with stuff you wouldn't say when you were younger. So, maybe I'm destined to be that old person, cheeky and probably capable of embarrassing my children without too much effort! I am sure there are other advantages too. Wearing outrageous clothes that don't match, eating biscuits for breakfast... oh hang on, I already do those. A bus pass would be useful, and the time to use it!
There's a more serious side to all this, though. The idea of being a burden in old age worries a lot of people, as does being lonely. I'm already thinking about Jade going to Uni next year and what I will do when Luke goes too. It might seem a world away now, but time has a habit of catching up with you and I don't want to be that relative who gets the dutiful weekly phone call and monthly visit, I want to still be me. I want to be able to connect with people, contribute and be interesting. I think the secret lies in viewing getting older as a two-way street, If you are concerned that you are facing loneliness or beginning to feel cut off from family, find a new direction. Learn a skill, or join a group. It will help you feel more confident and give you something to talk about too. If you've worked your whole life and now you've got the time to show for it, use it! On the other hand, if you are concerned that your parents or grandparents are missing you, find new ways to connect. Teach them to use the internet, or find a hobby you can enjoy together, even if it's once a month. Bathing Solutions, who find innovative and imaginative ways to help the older generation to maintain their independence, have some brilliant ideas in their Breaking Barriers guide, which aims to assist the elderly in becoming more active socially. There is a wealth of information and it's well worth a read, particularly if you are concerned about a relative.
Or, you could do what my family like to do, and just pretend it's not happening. Photos from the top; my nan, grandad and dad, all proving that age is just a number!
**Post sponsored by Bathroom Solutions**