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Transforming Ageing a collaboration run by the elderly

Blog Post 14 November 2017

Transforming Ageing – a collaboration run by the elderly

Retirement is one of the biggest challenges facing people ‘of an age’.

It is predicted that by 2048 there will be more than 100,000 centenarians in the UK.

We’re living longer and according to Paul Burstow, writing in The Guardian: “The way we respond to the human needs of an ageing society needs a new approach.”

And the problem looms so large it’s attracted £3.65m grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

The Design Council, UnLtd, South West Academic Health Science Network and the Centre for Ageing Better have come together to help map a better way for us to get old with the Transform Ageing initiative.

And here’s the best bit: It’s being run by older people. Charities, health and local government are on deck with social entrepreneurs and groups of senior people.

Former political big-hitter Burstow writes of a visit to a Transform Ageing workshop: “I was struck by the strength and value of fresh collaboration across groups who would not have come together otherwise The outcome was “a positive and forward-looking dialogue” and design briefs . . . hardly surprising as Burstow is chair of the Transform Ageing advisory panel.

Our nation’s treatment of the elderly has often been delivered negatively. Ageing has been associated with feebleness and feeblemindedness. I’m so grateful things have changed dramatically – even in this last decade.

Ageing Better I’m sure will not just tackle the biological issues of advancing years, but that which is social and cultural.

In China there are specific Elderly Rights laws, Japan offer a legal process for parents to sue their adult children for an allowance, in India the cultural respect of children touching the feet of their elders as a mark of respect is still practiced and in the Mediterranean nations respect of elders is the norm.

I’m not advocating we take lessons from other countries and cultures but maybe they can inspire us.

Debbie Le Quesne - CEO West Midlands Care Association