Thinking Differently About Ageing... 

At the House Of Commons

It was exactly one year this week, that we launched our 'Think Differently About Ageing' campaign at the House of Commons. It was fantastic to see such a big turnout to help us raise awareness of Later Life issues. 

Our campaign has gone from strength to strength and we followed it up with many other initiatives. Here are just three of them:

1. Think Differently About Ageing Project - Challenging negative attitudes to ageing, supported by the Postcode Trust. We recently held a special event in Hereford with local MP Jesse Norman.

2. Better Together - Community project to improve the health of older people in Swansea in conjunction with the Bay Health Cluster Group and the Swansea Council For Voluntary Service (SWCVC).

3. The Legacy Campaign - Fundraising initiative aimed at making like better for older people and the people who care for them. 

No one should be defined by age. Join in the debate #thinkdifferentlyaboutageing    

Our speakers spoke with great passion and authority on the subject of ageing and challenged current attitudes to older people...

* CEO James Lewis introduced the speakers and also looked at the background of the charity. He explained the need to put programmes such as Balanced Lives in place for older people to enable them to take control of their own lives.

* Event sponsor Tonia Antoniazzi MP (above) spoke eloquently of the political challenges posed by a rapidly ageing population. She felt strongly that politicians had a duty to look at the impact of increasing longevity on society as a whole. 

* Celia Dodd (above) - author of the acclaimed Not Fade Away - gave us some excellent practical advice on how to cope with the challenges of retirement and showed that this can be a time of great opportunity...

* Dr Kirstie Truman (above) Bay GP Cluster Lead told us why she recommended the Balanced Lives Programmes and gave us emotionally charged examples of how small changes can turn around the lives of older people.

* Lorraine Morgan (above) - Chair of Trustees closed with an inspirational account of a life spent working in the NHS and battling through a double-knee operation to continue work with older people.

The Importance of Wellbeing

At Action For Elders we are asking people to think differently and question their whole approach to ageing. As you reach later life you either take the view that this is the time to wind down or open yourself up to a whole new range of possibilities. We are not asking everyone to take up motorbike stunt riding; but it's important to keep yourself fit, mentally, physically and socially. These are the three important elements of 'Wellbeing' in later life. 

There's no need to fear getting old

The term 'old age' has negative connotations and it doesn't really apply these days. We may have a rapidly ageing population (within 30 years 25% of the population will be over 65), but things are changing for the better. The term Later Life is an apt one as shows that age is only in the mind. Later Life is just another stage in our development: we believe this passionately, so much so that we are championing our cause at a special event in the House of Commons at the end of this month...

We want to raise awareness of older people's issues and tackle the problems facing both older people and those that care for them; be they relatives, carers or concerned friends. We aim to show that our Balanced Lives Programmes can change the lives of older people for the better and transform communities. 

Later Life isn't the end - It's just the beginning...