Category Archives: Ageing

Insights and opinions on ageing in general – the good, the bad and the ugly

Seniors Rights and Elder Abuse

Seniors Rights10Elder abuse generally occurs within a relationship of trust, with the highest proportion caused by sons and daughters.

Financial abuse most common

Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV) manager Jenny Blakey said that financial abuse was the most common form of abuse reported through the SRV helpline. In acknowledgement of that fact, this year’s annual SRV WEEAD forum, Human Rights are Ageless, will focus on how assets and funds are transferred through generations.

Men and women can be affected

Another free forum, Legal Matters for Older Fellas, will provide an opportunity for older men to discuss issues of concern with lawyers and other professionals. read more

69 Love Sex Senior

69 love sex seniorNone of us wants to think about our grandparents “doing it”. We pretend to ourselves that at a certain age, people lose interest in sex. We keep it in the realm of the young – those with firm bodies, unbridled passions and, well… flexibility.

In 69 Love Sex Senior, filmmaker Menna Laura Meijer not only challenges our denial of older people as sexual beings but also explores their broad variety of sexual and romantic experiences. She shows that sex and love continue into older years in just as many different forms as we see amongst the young. Together with her wonderfully warm and entertaining selection of older people she explores a broad spectrum of experiences and expectations. read more

Celebrate living history

The smile from a senior sharing a story with a university student is what makes me happy.  

celebrate living history project 2Sometimes we forget to look beyond age and realise there is a person underneath who has a rich history to share.

I remember doing an interview with a former teacher and she said “Bev, when you get old, you too will become invisible.”

Maybe because the blinkers have been taken off my eyes I asked “But how I can see you?”

She told me sometimes she could be physically there, but ignored, people don’t think she is special just a little old lady. read more

HOME: An unusual arts project about ageing

My name is Brienna Macnish and I’m twenty-five. For the past twelve months I have been interviewing older people about their experiences of ageing as part of an arts project called HOME. I’ve heard lots of different stories, some uplifting, some deeply sad and have been struck time and time again by the generosity with which people have shared their stories with me.

HOME is the result of my interviewing. It is an audio work, experienced by one person at a time inside the home of a stranger.  Individually, audience members walk through a home, exploring and listening to a very personal and moving account of one woman’s experience of the years passing. read more

On old age…

I quote:

‘As we age we move from the participator to the observer. Where we were once the busy decision makers who made things happen we become the onlooker who is invited to join occasions that we used to initiate, my Dad used to say to people who didn’t know him and would patronise him: I am old I am not stupid.’

I don’t like any kind of labelling where individuals are concerned. It riles me. People do not become identical, (clones of each other) simply because they share commonality. Yet too often a human being is caught—as if framed in the narrow light attributed to a group — “Jews, foreigners, Muslim, labour supporters, disabled, the young generation…” the list is endless. Any individual can become the subject of generalisation. Those who concern me at present have been given the tag of elderly citizen or old people. read more

Old age

I can’t die now: I have enough coat hangers for the first time in my life.

This seems a powerful reason for ploughing on further into my 70s. You are sensing that deep down I am a frivolous woman. It is a reaction to all the people taking up laptops and telling people how to be old. I just can’t take it. When I started this column in 2008 no one had a word to say for the old. Now the air is thick with pontifications and I really hate it. My only mantra is: don’t be told how to be old.

Listen up. I am the first to say that old people should have jobs if they want them (as I did in my last column). I am the last to say it should be compulsory. read more

Ageing is not a linear process

Ageing is a process – not always kind, but utterly inevitable. It starts before we are even born and continues until death: some say for a short period longer in fact. We are born, we age, many of us suffer some of the maladies associated with ageing, but unlike taxes, we don’t quite go on forever. The process is inexorably linear and the only way any of us (and then only parts of us) can get any younger is by accepting an organ transplant: not an objective many of us are happy to pursue.

The impacts of ageing, on the other hand, are not necessarily as inevitable. Most of us get a few twinges, our hair changes colour, some even falls out, we tend to put on weight and a few creases might appear on our faces – but these are merely physical evidences of the maturity of our bodies. For some of us, maturity is anathema – indeed, some revel in the ‘privilege’ of acting immaturely, taking advantage of advancing years to indulge in some of the secret aspirations their position in the workplace or society more generally prevented them from exploring. More strength to them! read more

Walking the walk

She mulls and wonders, ‘how will I continue walk this foreign, uneven path, alone’.

Let’s us call her Ursula Berg, it is her nom de plume. She can hide behind it and rave and cry, lie on the floor like a two year old calling for attention with a temper tantrum. Will she shout while thrashing legs and arms and weep, ‘Nobody understands?’

Let me reassure all of you—there isn’t any need for you to come forward and whisper ‘Shush’, for she will neither scream nor kick her heels on the ground. read more