Age... No Concern!
Updated: Jul 31
Carole Spiers tells us why age should never be a barrier to embracing life fully.
Age Irrelevance Ambassador
"People are people [...] age is irrelevant." These were the words of Sally Greengross, who died in 2022, a highly valued and respected member of our family and former Director General of Age Concern.
Carole Spiers is CEO of the Carole Spiers Group, a stress and wellbeing consultancy. Chair of a stress and mental health charity. Author of 'Show Stress who's boss"
The unstoppable passage of time
So, what is it about getting older that can be difficult for so many people? Is it the loss of identity or focus? Is it demotivation or a progressive decline in health?
The routine of getting up at 6:30 every day and the constant rushing for the train is now over, but not everyone knows how to use this opportunity as a time for growth.
A lack of confidence can get in the way. You may not feel as sharp as you used to be, and ill-health and finance may be a barrier to exploiting this new chapter.
So as you turn over the pages in your book of life, you reflect on what you miss from working: banter with your colleagues, conversations with our customers and stimulation with your clients. You may miss being needed for the school run, picking up a grandchild from tennis lessons. Now, there are no clients to think about and the grandchildren no longer depend upon you for lifts, so there might be a void which you may not fully appreciate until you experience a sense of emptiness and loneliness.
Years ago you felt needed.. but now?
What you miss...
You start to crave stimulation and motivation; you look for company; you wonder what is going to punctuate your day apart from an Amazon delivery.
Suddenly, you are identified as an old aged pensioner, you can apply for your Freedom Pass, and you may even qualify for discounted theatre tickets.
Conversations around the dinner table have moved on from where the children go to school to which is the best consultant for diabetes or a heart condition.
"What has happened/" you ask yourself. "I used to be a person whose opinion was always sought, whom people would rely on, the person who would know how to get things done! And now ...And now I sit and watch and wait.
Taking personal responsibility
But you don't have to wait! Stimulation is key to motivation as you get older, but you need to be proactive about finding it. It may well not turn up on your doorstep and no one can do this except you. You are the one to make this happen. You are the one who needs to pick up the phone rather than wait for the phone to ring. You are the one who needs to find new friends and groups who are in tune with who and where you are in your life.
Find out more about yourself. You are of an age where you can choose what you do. You can stimulate your brain by going to lectures, clubs or doing voluntary work. Engage with a new community and find a sense of purpose.
Find your value
Youth brings vibrancy, excitement and the prospect of a long and exciting future. Life experience brings wisdom and knowledge. There is so much to share across all age groups.
Don't wait for others, be proactive now
Keep physically active
Look after your mental health
Find your sense of purpose
Have a positive mindset
Ask for help
Join new groups
Have a reason to get up every morning
Kick your brain cells into action