Personally, I try not to think too hard about growing old, not because the prospect of even more grey hairs and creaking limbs fills me with dread, because I can deal with that.
What I am not too keen on is the prospect of retirement, when it finally comes, lasting for too long, especially if prolonged old age (if it comes my way) consists of years of eating beans on toast and watching endless repeats of Mrs Brown’s Boys. We all dream of life after work, once the flock have flown the nest, but what we hope for involves sunnier climes and an endless supply of wine.
Let’s face it, the prospect of the above isn’t great: ever increasing house prices and ridiculously expensive higher education means the average Joe’s retirement fund, if we have one, will be sucked up by the kids, who probably won’t be able to afford to leave home until their 40th birthday. Then there is the matter of whether or not we will be healthy enough to enjoy whatever retirement we have. If the scientists of the future can halt ageing, just like the aliens did in the 1985 film Cocoon, then I am in, but that particular medical advance feels like a bit of a long shot.
A big fear for many of us is ending up in a care home at some point as, while these places are much better than they were when I worked in one as student, they are hardly a laugh a minute.
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You only have to look at the furore surrounding one care home company’s decision to entertain the residents with a pole dancing demonstration.
One politician described it as ‘inappropriate’, while the home in question was inundated with media inquiries, presumably from reporters desperately trying to find out where the OAPs stuck their five pound notes.
Of course, the entertainment was anything but salacious and the pole dancer was wearing gym gear rather than a leather bodice. But what concerns me most is the inference that old people aren’t allowed to have any fun unless it involves two fat ladies and singalongs to Val Doonican (pictured).