I recently received an invitation to speak at a lunch to be held in one of our neighbouring country towns. The event is part of a month-long celebration of ageing in the town, a brilliant idea. I wonder if it has been done anywhere else before? People are so keen to disparage older people that celebrating us really shows the other side of the coin. I can’t wait to be involved in it and to see how successful it will be. They are hoping that this will become an annual event and will become bigger each year. I hope that other places, both towns and cities will follow their lead. How positive it will make both the older people and the rest of the town feel about ageing. Both groups will benefit.

The idea is the brainchild of a not-for-profit organisation which runs 10 sites for the care of older people, ranging from independent living, to residential care, to high level care. I can’t help thinking that whereas smaller centres don’t have the economy of scale available in cities they do have a high level of caring which is often missing in larger communities. I hope to learn as much as possible about it and then suggest to the Minster for Ageing in the city where I live that we should try something similar here.

We have 2 bad news stories which were also brought to my attention this week. One was about a lady whose mother is close to death and tried to get her into palliative care. She was told that there was a waiting list! In heaven or wherever else we go? How ridiculous and uncaring of the authorities who have allowed this situation to arise. At the same time I was told about the management of two aged care facilities who are being taken to court because they are behaving illegally towards the residents. One is a not-for-profit organisation, the other profit-making. It is sad that older people have to live in situations where this can happen and in order to correct the situation they are obliged to take the managers to court. Shouldn’t we be able to live in peace at this stage in our lives. Disobeying the law is not acceptable under any circumstances but when the wrongdoing is against older people to me it is even less acceptable. Have these people no consciences?

Can we ever live in a world where we can all celebrate ageing, not deprecate it? I hope that there are really happy outcomes to all of this.