How the 'Old Old' can have best lives

“The major problem of the older person is, what are you going to do with the rest of your life? … when you ask them, 90 percent of the time people have no answer. And it’s not their fault. Society has not provided them with the tools to answer that question.”

Philip Moeller puts his finger on some moot points in this thoughtful article in US News: How the ‘Old Old’ can have best lives

Maybe more older people should take up demonstrating, although it would be better if they were demonstrating for something that would improve their lives rather than to maintain an old model of care: Joan Bakewell takes sheltered housing wardens funding fight to Westminster

And here’s an example of a social housing organisation, Aire Valley Homes in Leeds, UK, which seems to have developed an all-round approach to helping their older tenants that includes telecare services. It’s not as patronising as this article makes it sound at first.

2 thoughts on “How the 'Old Old' can have best lives

  1. Technology shaping older age

    I really like this collection of articles Steve, it reminded me of a series of articles in the Guardian recently on care homes that infuriated me. It described the lives of residents in some very well run care homes and seemed to imply that death and those years of ‘frailty’ that can come before it are inherently a ‘failure’ of society and of residents’ families.

    Until we can rid ourselves of an idealised view of living older age in the bosum of our caring and well resouced families (dependent on their good will) then we will never develop the innovative services for older age that can properly support us at this stage in our lives. The implications of Joan’s campaign is that the next best thing is to delegate this caring responsibility to some old fashioned ‘matron’ figure aka sheltered housing warden. This is very much about UK society’s inability to discuss options for facing death and for having a positive, if different approach to those years of reducing physical ability preceding death (if we’re lucky). Good US News article on this.

    Many of these services have the potential to be technology enabled, as touched on in the article on Aire Valley Homes, but won’t be seen as positive while we have such confused and guilt-ridden feelings about old age and death.

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