This site is run by a person over 65 (actually I’m 75!) to try to unite older people around the world to say what we need and what we have to offer.

I have spent the last 7 years (mainly part-time) researching older people in Australia (where I live) and also the UK and the USA and, to a lesser extent, Japan and China. It doesn’t seem to matter which country we live in we all seem to face the same problems, both in our own lives but also in our communities.

Our health problems as we age are very different from those we had when we were younger, at least for most older people. Our muscles are not as flexible as they used to be and we tire more easily so that keeping fit, which becomes even more important, is much harder. Society doesn’t seem to realise that we need extra help for this and such help would make us less dependent. All we hear about is how much our care, both health care and accommodation when we have to move out of our homes, is costing the community. We rarely hear about how much we have to offer. As soon as our wrinkles take over we are regarded as a write off, regardless of how much we have achieved in our lives previously.

The organisations responsible for mental health, particularly organisations such as Alzheimer’s, suggest that we should do puzzles to keep our brains active. I enjoy doing puzzles but on their own they wouldn’t keep my brain fit. They would make me feel somewhat childish if that was what I spent my day doing. What about all the knowledge, skills and talent we had and developed in our working lives? Doesn’t society have a use for all this, including the wisdom gained from many decades on this planet? It seems as though our communities prefer instead to shove us on a scrap heap regardless of all we have to offer.

I hope that this web site will enable older people, whatever out backgrounds or achievements, to support each other and get recognition for us, no matter in which country we are doing our ageing.

Most of the last 7 years I have been reading, and listening to, the work of researchers in this field of ageing and what I find disappointing and quite frightening is that almost all of them are younger people whose only knowledge of ageing is from what they read and most of this is written by younger people and a lot of it is wrong. The provisions made for older people tend not to include our needs identified by consultation with us. I attend quite a few conferences on ageing which are supposed to identify our problems, needs and solutions. The scary part of them is that they are organised by younger people, the speakers are almost always younger people and so is the audience. The influence and experience of the real experts on ageing, us, doesn’t come into it.

As experts in ageing I ask all those over 65 to join with me in saying what we need and what we have to offer to make the world a better place. We are certainly not ‘has beens’. I hope that as we all increase our experience of this new media we will be able to exchange ideas. After all, if young people can use the internet to get together through this new media why shouldn’t we?

Audrey