The really simple way to walk for health in later life

Happy senior couple hiking in the park (dollarphotoclub)
Happy senior couple hiking in the park (dollarphotoclub)



The problem for many of us today is that we just do not exercise enough. This can have dire consequences as we age.

According to the Lancet medical journal,about two thirds of the adult population in the UK does not take sufficient exercise and are endangering their health.The British Heart Foundation 2015 physical activity survey revealed that only 30% of over 75s meet a reasonable physical level of activity. These are astonishing statistics,and if we don’t use our physical ability to take reasonable levels of exercise we will eventually lose it.

In the UK and the US health authorities  tend to agree that we should strive to achieve 10,000 steps each day equivalent to about 5 miles.The average person in the UK reaches around 3000-4000 steps daily according to the NHS( in the US this figure is said to be around 5,200 -5,900)

There is a simple way we can individually deal with this problem of low activity, and that is by walking for health in later life. Continue reading “The really simple way to walk for health in later life”

Top March event Sport Relief 2016 discovered Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em still

Simple Life Reunion 2057
Gruhn creative commons

Sports Relief 2016 gave a platform for Michael Crawford to reprise his Frank Spencer character last played on TV 42 years ago.With an hilarious ten minute sketch Frank has several hair raising adventures on bicycle or roller skates in his typical physical comedy style.Although the sketch was widely acclaimed much comment has been made about the fact that Michael Crawford is 74 years old and, of course,considered to be a pensioner.What’s he doing all this for at his age? Many might say :Is he up to it?Wasn’t it all a long time ago when the series he starred in finished?

Apparently, this sketch was to be a ‘one-off’ in aid of charity.It took many weeks to bring to the screen.Michael might be a little stung by the age remarks.It seems he is not concerned.As in his earlier career, he did all his own stunts.Which brings us nicely to a wonderful web page featuring other senior people acting in most unexpected ways. Is it not time that the ‘old person’ stereotype was buried once and for all? Times they are a changing in our senior classes.Many people are not settling for retirement from life.They are embracing later life with both hands,working enthusiastically at remaining fitter for longer, and enjoying active and fulfilling lives.

So do spend a few moments here being entertained and amazed by a veritable ‘troupe’ of impressive people who are destroying age stereotypes.

Oh…and you can still donate to Sport Relief 2016 to support its work on projects for people in essential need in many places around the world.




How you can take charge and simply reverse ageing

Getting Older Doesn’t Mean You’re Finished!

Are you concerned with the quality of life as you age? Do any of the following resonate with your experiences?

  • The thought of sliding into infirmity leaves you frightened and depressed
  • On more than one occasion you struggled to find the words to complete a thought
  • You fear losing your independence and ability to take care of yourself
  • The thought of just fading away in loneliness and isolation is downright depressing
  • It seems that worrying about growing old is constantly nagging at you

You aren’t alone.

There are almost 40 million people over the age of 65 in the United States. That is nearly 13% of the population. By 2030 there will be more than 72 million older persons making up 19% of the population.

The trend is similar for European countries. It is estimated that during the period from 2013 to 2080 the percentage of the working age population will shrink, while people over 65 will account for an increasing share of the total population. Continue reading “How you can take charge and simply reverse ageing”

Why this is no age to retire



Today, one in six of the UK population is aged 65 or over.

Until quite recently people of a certain age felt defined by what passed as appropriate for their parents, and their forebears. This earlier attitude, bringing with it all things ageism, was reinforced by a lower life expectancy, and by the many legal and social rules in our society which dictated what should or should not be done at certain times in life, particularly in later life. This was no less apparent than Continue reading “Why this is no age to retire”

Keeping purpose in your laterlife

Vector silhouettes of man.

A recent management magazine article inspired this post. The word purpose sprang out. So without entering into a sermon, what does it really mean – purpose? It could be said young people have by dint of youth purpose in their lives: to grow-up,expand their horizons,achieve ambitions, have families, help others, and so on. But what about older people in later life? Continue reading “Keeping purpose in your laterlife”

UK Pensioners encouraged to stay in work to safeguard the economy

Seniors Point to Tablet PCGovernment adviser and pensions expert,Ros Altmann,has been given the brief to see what can be done to boost the number of older workers. She is suggesting the over 60s should be helped to retrain so that they can stay in the labour market. In a recent interview with The Times newspaper, she said one of the key employment issues for those in their sixties was lack of IT skills,and there should be an IT national training scheme open to pensioners. Over the next few years,there are expected to be significantly fewer younger people, 16 to 49,whereas those between the age of 50 and the state pension age are likely to surge by around 3.7 million. According to the August report from, over one-third of the population are over 50 years of age.Also, two-thirds of those aged between 65 and 74 still do not have broadband at home.These are many other figures which may be of particular interest on a wide number of areas including employment, relating to older people in the UK The benefits to the UK economy are clear and those able to take advantage of the opportunity of acquiring new work skills should benefit from a continuing sense of usefulness and social connectivity.Ms Altmann believes that this initiative could literally save lives by improving the wellness of groups of older people who could otherwise suffer from a lack ‘of sense of purpose’.

How to live comfortably and with independence in later life

sweet home

There has been much in the recent news about the growing belief that older people though finding themselves in inappropriate homes as some of their powers decline would far prefer to stay independent of a care home environment.

Perhaps not surprisingly a high number, 9 in 10 over 50s, according to the recent Daily Telegraph report of people surveyed about where they would prefer to live and be cared for, opted for staying put in their own homes. It seems though that most of us leave it far too late even to start any sort of conversation with anyone, including close family. We will discuss finance for older age, even funeral arrangements but not the long term living space we need or desire to maximise enjoyment of later life.

In the case of staying home and independent,planning for our living space in older age is of course not a new concept although there can be no ‘one size fits all’ approach to deal with the many requirements of individuals with different levels of health and abilities, as well as preferences for a particular lifestyle. There is a range of ‘fixes’ that can be considered to help maintain good quality of life, from small to medium ‘tweaks’ like adjusting the height of work surfaces ,installing better handle design for easier opening of doors and windows; also making more open living spaces for wheelchair access, for instance.At the other end of the range, there is the complete design-build always ‘fit for purpose’ living space. This looks to provide a living place in which to age, with practical comfort and aesthetics in mind.

Such a space should be able to function so as to enable both the able in mind and body and the disabled to co-habit in comfort and style.This latter of course is the holy grail,as it were, of planning for later life, and is often referred to as Universal (accessible )design which produces a broad range of practical ideas to incorporate in buildings and environments making them inherently accessible to people regardless of age. This helps at a social level so that the more elderly do not find themselves marginalised in their own homes and they can continue to enjoy the society of younger people.

Universal design was the brainchild of an architect who was himself confined to a wheelchair.His idea is a place to start a conversation about future living.It is a wide subject. You can start your own conversation with a quick start guide to learning how to live comfortably and with independence. Startling statistics from AgeUK tell us that the number of people over 65 in community-based care and support at home is falling rapidly in the UK. This is seen to be a trend working entirely against our wishes.It is time we all prepared better for our care in old age if we wish to  be where we want to be and not allow ourselves to end up in places not of our choosing. Aging in a Palace is a slim volume but a good read. It may be laced with many questions and few specific and detailed solutions, but it is thought provoking.

When are you too old to have ambition?


Tercera edad

Dame Joan Bakewell,the cultural broadcaster and writer once dubbed ‘the thinking man’s crumpet’ by the late Frank Muir, has suggested that elderly people would be far happier if they eschewed ambition,giving-up on ‘winning’, and lived more content with their lot. At a recent gathering at the Hay-on-Wye Festival, she also added, on the other hand, that a person in old age needed a sense of purpose when pursuing careers, caring for young family, and keeping one’s remaining friends, cease to play a crucial part in life.Old age she felt was like a ‘country’, where its inhabitants were generally excluded,depressed, and lonely.

The ‘country’ of old age

This for me this raises the age-old question : when does one reach the frontier of this awful country thus described? It is rather like measuring the proverbial piece of string.One arbitrary line, like the current official retirement age in the UK, for instance is not appropriate for the well being of all people reaching it, if strictly applied. Dame Joan believes that at the age of 81 she is reaching that frontier. For others of differing states of health, level of skills, including social, and lifestyle needs, the step into old age may be much nearer, or perhaps further away. I do like the idea, though, of conducting a later life that minimises anxiety so often the result of living with rivalry.

Where I have difficulty is defining ambition. One person’s ambition maybe to do more for others; another to write poetry or a novel, or perhaps simply just to do do something different, and have different interests from an earlier life.This kind of ambition is to be encouraged in my book.

Look for a sense of purpose

Whilst, the country of old age for many may seem a very bleak place, unless you can rest content on your laurels in the comfort of a life well lived, Dame Joan does see how this can change. Life can still be wonderful and fulfilling. With some adjustment of their goals, the elderly can still have a sense of purpose for the rest of their lives.

Old age is no longer a place of willing submissiveness

To help people with the necessary life changes, she advocates official help with the appointment of a ‘commissioner’ for the old, charged with looking after their special interests.The old now have significant political power, she says,’old age is no longer a place of willing submissiveness.’  People in later life now expect more from their later life.

What do you think?Your comments would be most welcome.


It’s never too late to be your own boss

Elderly couple business she looks shocked

There is a widely held view that older people lack the drive necessary to become successful entrepreneurs. Certainly in certain sectors, like technology, the perception is that to be successful you need to have achieved your business ambitions by the age of thirty-five years, otherwise in entrepreneurial terms you are deemed ‘over-the-hill.’ It is therefore refreshing to learn that figures from recent studies in the US and elsewhere suggest that older people do have the required business and technical skills, combined with experience, to start-up businesses, and become more successful on average than younger people.

Adeo Rossi,founder of the The Founder Institute, says age is only one factor among many to predict the success of an entrepreneur.The romanticised notion that it is the young college drop-out who will be the one to make good and become a millionaire is wide-off the mark, far from the norm.According to the Ewing Marion Kaufman Foundation, business creation by older Americans grew by more than 60 per cent between 1996 and 2012, fuelled partly by ageing and the huge boomer generation. In the UK, the number of self-employed workers increased by 9.6 per cent in the four years between 2008 and 2012 to 4.176 million and older people made a significant contribution to this growth. Alastair Clegg of the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) also adds,” that older people have a wealth of skills and experience that are not only beneficial to the economy but will help the next generation of workers.”He says that for older people struggling to find work, starting-up their own business is a viable route to a sustainable employment.

It is never too late to be your own boss as an entrepreneur.

At ageUK you can read about Geoff Gill,65 years of age,and recently retired, who decided to retire from his employment and turn a part time business interest into a full time one. He is one of many who has decided to continue to be gainfully employed but as his own boss.In this way he is able to use his skills and experience in a sustainable business.
There are many people out there like Geoff to inspire us.For useful information have a look, for example, at what PRIME has to offer.


Have you voted for government to keep its hands-off your pensioner benefits?

Senior Couple Watching TV At Home

The Conservative party has pledged to consign the possible granting of state pension increases so small as to be meaningless ,to the political dustbin by confirming the retention of the ‘triple lock’ guarantee for state pension increases post-2015 ,if re-elected. No sooner had this political football been punctured than murmurings were to be heard from other political quarters threatening to remove the following pensioners’ non-means tested benefits :

– free tv licence fee for the over-75s

-winter fuel allowances

-bus passes

-free prescriptions and eye tests

It is true that there are some wealthy pensioners in the UK who could well fund these benefits for themselves. According to the Hands Off ! campaign, however,the high figures for usage point to a clear need for these benefits to be retained.It also says that the high level of unclaimed means tested benefits, for over 65s, clearly shows that means testing does not work.

“We have,for the first time,placed a value on the economic and social contribution that older people make to our society. In 2010,over 65s made an astonishing net contribution of £40 billion to the UK economy through,amongst other contributions,taxes, spending power,…” Lynne Berry, WRVS

Hands Off! also says,the recent period of austerity is seen as having hit hard the older as well as the younger generations in the nation.The risk of poverty in older people is said to be higher than for most other EU countries.

There have been a number of recent changes affecting pensioner benefits:

-the date for women’s pension retirement age brought forward

-state pensions linked to the lower measure of inflation (CPI)

-raised qualifying age for Winter fuel payments

-the freezing of personal allowances for over 4 million pensioners, expected to save the government £1bn by 2015.

“There are over 10 million people aged 65+ living in the UK. Two out of three believe that politicians see older people as a low priority. The ‘Hands Off’ campaign plans to change that.” Hands Off!”

An e-petition entitled ‘Hands off universal pensioner benefits’ has been created in order to influence government and parliament in the UK.

Sign-up today! The opportunity  to do so ends 10th May 2014

Life is such a bore so pensioners say

Life is but a bore so pensioners say

Boredom in retirement -that'll be the day!
Boredom in retirement -that’ll be the day!

According to a recent survey carried out by the Skipton Building Society, one half of a group of retired people canvassed said that within ten months of retirement they were bored with life! Having spent most of their working lives dreaming, scheming and saving for a life in retirement they found the freedom to do whatever they wanted with their time had not given them the happiness they had hoped to have.
Retired people, it seems, feel there is a stigma attached to their new life, and they resent being termed ‘old’.
For some,the extra lie-ins and the opportunity of watching daytime television had quickly palled in appeal.No longer did they feel useful or able to rely on a structured work life to offer meaning to their everyday existence. Sometimes loneliness had replaced the comfort of camaraderie in the workplace. Also of course, for some, the cause of dissatisfaction was a shortage of disposable money to indulge themselves, or at best to maintain their standard of living on a reduced income.
Work to remove those retirement blues now
If you are like a rudderless ship, you should look to find a new structure for your life, and one which will utilise transferable skills employed prior to retirement. Of course your health may dictate what you can and cannot do but your future activities can be tailored to your abilities. There is an opportunity to learn new skills and acquire new interests.
Essentially, you need something to get out of bed for in the mornings.
I hope that you will regularly return to these pages where we will be offering solutions to help drive away the hopelessness many feel when faced with the challenges of a new life beyond work – work of another nature, paid or unpaid, may also,of course, be a part or the whole of the solution to this dilemma.
The opportunity for beneficial retirement covers a wide field…
… but offers one wherein everyone will find something that will help improve their lives. For now, I leave you with this thought : during a busy work life  the successful order of things rested heavily on acts of behaviour or routines very much driven by habit, like buying a newspaper on the way to the bus stop, or cutting-up for your lunch box,simple things which you did without much thought or extra learning, but if you missed out doing them it mattered to your general wellbeing. The number of these good daily habits was large, and probably ranged from the trivial to the vital,but all together played their part in keeping your life together and moving forward with some meaning.
Develop good daily habits
In retirement,or any new life, we need to develop a new set of good daily habits some of which we may or may not have incorporated in our previous life.It is a time to sort through and retain what is useful from the past for the future.
The good habits may help us in retirement to:
  • eat well and exercise for health;
  • likewise sleep better
  • take on new learning, doing something each day in which we excel utilising our experience or skill;
  • reduce stress;
  • socialise, or at least make yourself known;
  • do things that make you feel better, this might be for instance helping someone else through a problem;
  • have a routine when you first wake-up
Many of these interact,and there are many others, which will be covered in detail soon in future posts on this site, and in my newsletters.
Having a happy and fulfilling laterlife is the very essence of what this site is all about.
You can read a Skipton Building Society report on aspects and attitudes relating to retirement

Don’t let your laterlife ruin your health


How's this for a good habit?
How’s this for a good habit?


Life expectancy is increasing significantly for many of us as a result of medical breakthroughs, and general improvements in living standards. Why then do many people over 60 feel they are entering an age of fear? Losing the meaning of life, they can succumb to a declining spiral resulting in greatly reduced physical and mental powers. While growing older does, of course, create challenges for us all, perhaps leading to loss of purpose and self-worth, it is not an inevitable part of the ageing process.

The seeds of a problem

These may have been sown much earlier in our lives, when our lifestyles were dictated by different pressures than now from work,family,personal ambition, fashion, or a more youthful culture. There are also poor habits and activities which we may have practised in our earlier daily lives that are inappropriate for sustaining the wellness we hope for as we grow older. Unfortunately, there are also arbitrary stages in our lives, retirement age being one of them, family leaving the home, when change is forced upon us which can affect our view of the future and ability to cope.

So what to do? 

There are steps we can easily take to make daily progress towards halting the degradation of our lives, and actually going some way to improving them, raising our enjoyment and enabling us to reach greater fulfilment.This in turn will make us feel better about ourselves and better able to take on new interests and challenges if we need them.

At the heart of a revitalising process for a better and less fearful life are what may be called good behavioural practices, or habits, in our daily lives. We can either do nothing and allow the spiral of decline to claim us,or we can take positive actions. According to writer and entrepreneur, Steve Scott, daily habits are what help define us as people. He has written a book called : 77 Good Habits To Live A Better Life. Although probably written more with younger people in mind, who wish to grow in their lives in terms of work, and success, many of the Habits covered apply to all generations. They are powerful and can significantly help 60lifers improve the quality of life, particularly, in the matter of health. Some habits are ones we may have lost over the years, or may never have had. This is knowledge many of us already have but often we never put it into practice. Just a few small and easy steps introduced as part of our every day lives can transform them.

One of Steve’s easy habits which can benefit the over 60s is : Eat within 30 minutes of waking. He says, even a very light breakfast of ,say, an English muffin  smeared with a little peanut butter is sufficiently nutritious to ‘kick-start’ your body for the day. A banana can also suffice. Another half-breakfast ,after an hour or so continues to give the right signals to our body’s metabolism.

If you like me, as a younger person, allowed little or no time for this habit to form because of a busy work life, you have absolutely no excuse in laterlife to find the time to keep this habit. It is never too late to improve your health, to help you reach your maximum potential.

It is not true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

In future posts,I will cover more easy lifestyle habits to keep – so don’t miss anything.You can sign-up for my brief emails on this page.

As inspiration to us all, Sir Bruce Forsyth, the British entertainer, recently celebrated over 70 years in show business. By all accounts he is fit and well, and continuing his career.He has recently been a co-host for the highly popular British TV show: Strictly Come Dancing . In celebrity interviews, he puts down his longevity and physical flexibility – he can still show many young’uns how to dance- to daily exercise routines carried out as soon as he wakes in the morning, and before he rises, including body stretches,hand and finger exercises, and for toes and ankles. He is clearly a man of good habit.


Go Brucie! Wishing you many more years beyond your current 85 years of age.


Before I go please let me know your comments on not letting your laterlife spoil your health.Perhaps you also have some good habits to share.




The age of fear for the over 60s?


RenderedImageOne third of people in their 60s  experience a ‘later-life’ crisis 


The other day ,The Daily Mail reports, the Harrogate conference of the British Psychological Society heard from Dr Oliver Robinson, a lead researcher at The University of Greenwich, that in a survey of 282 people aged 60 or over, 32 per cent of men and 33 per cent of women said they had had a crisis since the age of 60.


At the centre of this later-life crisis for many over 60s is the big question : What is the meaning of life?


Why particularly at this time of life? Is it not stating the blindingly obvious, you may say, that as we become older we fear more, and feel more vulnerable? Illness and isolation become the enemies to be feared, and very often actually endured. There may be loss of family members and friends, or of gainful employment or occupation; physical or mental disability may restrict activity, and a break in connection with the world outside. This is said to be different from the ‘mid-life’ crisis of younger people.


The survey’s findings may perhaps not surprise. For some over 60, the figure of a third may seem rather low. What is there left to do, and where is it all going?


The questions are hugely important,so too is helping to find some answers. The experts conclude that unless the ‘triggers’ of a crisis, for example, bereavement or illness of a loved one, are properly addressed, then a spiral can often develop leading to and accelerating personal decline into physical and meant suffering.


It seems that two or more stressful life events, and the subsequent sense of loss, are likely to raise an acute awareness of mortality and frailty.


In Dr Robinson’s words: “It was important for people in their 60s to recognise the signs and for some to seek help.” It was not something to be ashamed about, either having these experiences or seeking help.”


And the Good News…Overcoming, the crisis can often make life seem even better than before.

Where to go to for help? Obvious immediate answers may be : your general medical practitioner, at first instance, or close family members and friends. In these pages ongoing, we will try to offer some regular and helpful information to help fill the knowledge gap, in what is a large and complex area to cover. If you see in the near future, on the side-bar of this page, an opportunity to sign-up for regular updates and news about what you have just been reading – Do sign-up! There is no cost, and no obligation, your details are treated as strictly confidential and will never be passed on elsewhere.


Health Disclaimer! The information provided on this site should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this site. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors, but readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.



You may wish to follow full reports covered in this article and related articles:

One in three over-60s are hit by a ‘later life’ crisis about the meaning of life

Keep an eye also on updates to Your Health here>>




Why not too old to be Pope

In the same week that a 76 year old was elected the new Pope, an influential report- Ready for Ageing?- by a committee of the House of Lords in the UK was issued.The essence of the report was the revelation of growing numbers of older people in society ( not really news to many) and the worrying lack of preparation to cope with an ever ageing population.

Although to many approaching their later years this trend promises a gift of longer life, it is a challenge for government to deal with the special needs of older people, for example, home care,appropriate accommodation,and medical services.

How long should older people  be allowed or encouraged to work? When is a person to be deemed to be too old to hold down a particular job? What is beyond argument is the Committee’s finding that in the UK, by 2030, the number of over -65s will have increased by a third.Also, there will be twice as many people over the age of 85 than there were in 2010.Surely, this should be a cause for celebration.? If the ‘greying’ generation is staying fitter this should cheer us all. But the challenge above referred to needs to be prepared for now.The Lords report shows that the politicians are finally waking up to the issues. Welcoming the recommendations of the report, Caroline Abrahams of AgeUK says,” Government has no choice but to take -up this challenge.”

Far from being a drag on the economy, the over-65s have proved to be a valuable sector of the workforce through difficult economic times.Age should be counted an asset. We are now frequently told that with age comes wisdom. And ,that with age our brains make us less prone to sudden surges of emotion and, therefore, less impulsive. Perhaps, as more people work on past the traditional age of 65 years, the word and concept of retirement will slip away out of fashion.Apparently more than one million are still in employment up from around 500,000 ten years ago.

This growing number will want different services and products than their parents.This will offer a huge commercial opportunity.An ‘older’ population in a country can often indicate a settled and more prosperous,healthier, and longer living people. Britain’s oldies help keep the economy going.We are now surely in a time in which a Pope aged 76 can still offer great service to his church and to mankind, and one in which a Pope can live long enough to retire rather than die in harness.

I’ll leave you with a Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times columnist,  Bible quote:

“Is not wisdom found among the aged?Does not long life bring understanding? (Job 12:12)


You can’t do that! You’re over 50, stupid!

How many of us of a certain age have had this sort of thing said to us; often by friends and relatives, or the media. How strange then that,in a world which seems to daily challenge long held rules and customs, older people are being constrained in their activities or in what they wear by some long held arbitrary boundaries. A letter writer to the Sunday Independent was recently sufficiently moved to have a ‘rant’ about this in response to an article in that paper (published August 5,2012). Eleanor Coggins in the article had asked the two questions: “Should I embrace my inner pensioner?” and “When do I let the hair grow 50 shades of grey,wear twinsets and flesh-coloured tights?”

The writer was robust in her response. She remembers rules and criticisms from parents,teachers and community as a 16 year-old. Her hair was too short, or it was too long … Boyfriend was too old, and her hot pants too hot! Although high-fashion magazines say that women over 50 should never do this or that, she is determinedly going to embrace absurdity (she has decided to buy a pair of shiny red platform sandals) with the same brazen attitude she showed when she wore her much maligned green plastic platform shoes so many years ago.

It is probably true that many people, men and women, of a certain age, wear a kind of uniform dress code which can tend to define their age group. But if they break-out , and  wear what they feel best in, should they not be encouraged? This should also apply to activities where, within the physical and mental capacity,they should sky-dive, skinny-dip in the ocean, travel the world, join an amateur dramatic society,go to pubs and clubs, and so on.

I’m with the writer of the letter to the Independent. These pages will frequently return to this theme, and to give current news and ideas for breaking the ‘mould’.

So,where are you on this? Let me know.I’d love to hear from you.


Why are the over 50s targeted unfairly to pay more for goods and services?

A number of worrying headlines have appeared in UK daily newspapers recently supporting the often held view that people over the age of 50 are being targeted to receive less favourable treatment than everyone else when it comes to buying goods and services.

Now,according to the Daily Mail, often products aimed at a certain age group, saving accounts for the over 50s for example, do not compare favourably with accounts available to younger people. This age group is often picked-out to receive the worst of the savings deals, and says it found:

‘Overall,… the average interest rate offered by the top 20 financial providers for the over-50s is 2.23 per cent – but it is 3.17 per cent for accounts aimed at all age groups.’

It reported that researchers had looked at all the cash savings accounts available, including instant access accounts, notice accounts and fixed-rate products. Cash Isas were excluded.

This is an outrageous situation, financial experts warned, that older savers are being sold less attractive savings deals than other age groups. For a fuller report you can continue reading at over 50s being offered worst savings deals where you can see details of  several of the  financial giants currently providing an unfavourable offering based on age. It is important for savers to note the terms of the saving contract being offered, and to be particularly  aware of interest rates which hold good only for a short period e.g. 12 months, and then fall back to a very small return henceforward.


Are you feeling guilty over a loved one in a care home?


You,like me,maybe looking forward to seeing a new exotic film set in India soon to be released in the UK. The idea behind The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I understand ,is that a group of pensioners unhappy with their immediate prospects of life as elderly people in the UK are attracted to an alternative  way of life in India.As a piece of light entertainment, this will most probably be a great success with the splendid cast assembled, and hugely enjoyable.

One of the stars, Dame Judi Dench, when recently promoting the film, took the opportunity of lambasting ‘inhumane’ care homes. Furthermore, she said families should take-in their elderly relatives when they can longer care for themselves, as she did. Well, maybe her circumstances were such that this well intentioned and loving action was a practical possibility. For many others, faced with the dilemma of how to provide the most appropriate care, a care home may be the only option.

Can we ever do enough for the elderly? Maybe we can all agree that spending ones final days in an old peoples’ home is not an ideal,much less preferred, option but it maybe the best available option.Although here,it must be said that many homes up and down the country do a wonderful job in difficult circumstances.

Many 60-lifers find themselves in the growing ‘the sandwich generation’, reasonably fit and at a time when they might expect to have some time to themselves they are having to consider both the the care and welfare of a parent or elder relative ,and the care of children and grandchildren.We will revisit this issue in future posts.

Circumstances may dictate the best course of care : state of physical and mental health, financial resources available,access to the services of family and friends. Unlike Dame Judi Dench, who took her parent(s) into her home when they were unable to care for themselves, many people may find this is just an impossibility.

As we do not fully know the circumstances in which Judi Dench was able to look after her parents and continue a very busy and successful acting career,  we do not know the range of the many and varied range of  circumstances in which people with relatives who need care find themselves.From my own experience, the brevity of a headline message to the effect : “look after your own”, is both hurtful and unhelpful, and only goes to reinforce the heavy guilt that many people already feel who want to do the very best by their relatives in need.

You can read a report from the Mail online relating to the above on ‘inhumane’ homes 

As a footnote ,and further thought for  today, according to age expert ,Ken Dytchwald:

Two-thirds of all men and women who have lived beyond the age of 65 in the entire history of the world are alive today.

This is a growing challenge for us all going forward.



Confirmation that Greater Wisdom does indeed come with age

The journal Cerebral Cortex reports that those clever people at the Institute of Geriatrics, University of Montreal,have produced compelling research that confirms what we older parents probably already suspected: the older you get the wiser you become. The Daily Mail reports on this finding: “The over 55s use their brains more efficiently than their younger counterparts, as they are much more likely to shrug off mistakes, say scientists.

“And while they may take more time to come to a decision, they are simply conserving their energy.”

Younger people, the report goes on,by contrast, give the impression of being sharper, simply coming-up with answers more quickly.The researchers say this maybe a sign of inexperience rather than wisdom. It seems “as the brain becomes older, it learns how to better allocate its resources.”

A group aged between 55 and 75, although they took longer to complete certain tasks, roughly matched the performance of a group aged 18 to 35, the journal Cerebral Cortx reported.

You can read a fuller report on the results of this research into greater wisdom comes with age




UK government to make no concessions when axe on reduced bus fares for over 60s falls



All around the UK there is the buzz of concern and outrage at the recent announcement that the over 60s are to lose the concessionary rate bus fares which enable so many, who would otherwise find the cost prohibitive,to travel on journeys from within the UK .

You can read one full report here – threat to resort after concessions face axe

This is just one of many seaside resorts  and visitor attractions expecting  to be seriously affected by the withdrawal of the funding provided to bus operators to enable them to offer concessionary fares. The operators are faced with closing routes if they become unprofitable. It has been suggested that they should introduce schemes similar to the Rail Card currently available to the over 60s.

Tip: If you know you want to travel you can beat the deadline for the end of the specially reduced rates by planning and booking now. Tickets bought in this way will be honoured after the deadline.




Inability to pay the household bills – fear of the over-50s

Just when you reach that time of life, as a person in the UK  over the age of 50,you may find that instead of being able to look forward to a gentle ease into retirement looking to your own self needs and relaxation,you are facing the anxiety of having no other course but to sell your home to make ends meet. According to a SAGA report published recently, this frightening prospect is likely to be a reality for millions of over-50s. Inflation and the rock bottom savings interest rates are heavily to blame.

SAGA believe  that one in five worry that they will be forced  to ‘downsize’ by selling a family home to ensure enough cash is generated to pay soaring household bills. Furthermore, many over-50s are faced with trying to support their grown-up children, and their children, for example with help to pay mortgages, university fees,contribute  towards their children’s family holidays, and often basic weekly food bills. Non-essential expenditure is being reduced. Grandparents, it is said, are ‘going without’ because of  mounting pressure in these difficult economic times ‘ to support the younger generation.’

You can read more about the over-50s who are ‘sacrificing their own happiness’ in this  Daily Mail report

The gastric band question for the over 60s

Hi. In these times, we are everyday hearing of pioneering surgery and rapid developments in medicine ,unheard of even a decade ago.

If successful these are life-changing for the person whose wellness has been improved. But are these remarkable advances only for the relatively young, when factoring in the cost and the employment of scarce medical resources? Should a person over 60,for example, be given the chance to benefit? Is the risk worth taking, and should it be allowed? As food for thought and further discussion ,I give you today the link to a recent report posted at the website:

‘Madeleine, who lives in Gosport, Hants, with husband, Bill, 68, is one of the [gastric band] procedure’s success stories. In the 14  months after her bypass she has gone on to lose an amazing 10 stone and is now a size 8/10 with a BMI of 24.9 (the ideal is 20-25).

She says,“I read the letter I wrote to my daughter recently and it was full of sadness and so far from the person I am now. I took great pleasure in ripping it up.

“The operation cost £12,000 and I had to take out a loan to pay for it but it has at last given me, albeit in my pension years, the life I’d dreamed of.”

But sadly, major weight-loss surgery doesn’t have such a happy ending for every older patient.’

For the full story you can go to: