Welcome!

Limoges - off to the shop - CopyCelebrating age

In recent years, I’ve enjoyed my first ride in a helicopter, learned to sail a yacht and spent a weekend helping in the sheep yards on a farm during shearing. At sixty-five,  I went back to university as a full-time student; another year, I published my first book, a memoir, Other People’s Country. At seventy, my best friend and I escaped from our respective families. We married in secret in a very lovely ceremony, and then honeymooned in Paris – my first trip to Europe.

This year, after a shaky start, I’m blogging.

A search for blogs about ‘ageing’, ‘old age’ and ‘growing older’ turned up sites devoted to residential aged care, dementia, incontinence and depression. It also found sites devoted to research into some of the more dismal aspects of old age. I know a bit about all of those through my work as a nurse in aged care facilities. As well as that, before my retirement from full-time work, I was the chief executive officer in a non-government agency that advocates for people who live in residential aged care, as well as those in danger from elder abuse.

There is another, better narrative about growing older. People in their late sixties and seventies are often still in the workforce. We travel; contribute generously to our families and communities; attend the theatre, concerts and festivals; vote; exercise our bodies and minds; learn and grow. We are indignant about the poor treatment sometimes meted out to older people, and not afraid to speak our minds.

Stories about ageing gracefully (and disgracefully) are the ones I hope to celebrate in my blog.

Thank you for visiting!

 

 

18 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Wonderful, Maureen; a great start, laying down the gauntlet for ageing-learning-growing-transforming. One creative way of doing this is writing, as you know, and self-writing is a universal language.

    • Thank you, Christina. Like you, I’m passionate about learning-growing-transforming and I look forward to posing some challenges that relate to older men and women.

  2. Oh, Maureen, you clever girl!
    A quotation from the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 A.D.) seems apt.
    Everything that happens, happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find it to be so.
    … and how more so, that to embrace the new in communication, as well as honouring the traditional – and to encourage others to experience the same!
    Your exceptional blog is commended :).

    • Thank you, Coral. The quote is indeed very apt! I love the challenge of whatever is new (for me) and this is no exception. Blogging is as exciting as starting a new book and I hope others enjoy it, too.

  3. How refreshing to hear some real truths about how we oldies are treated. Many years ago maybe 60 or so I read an article which said you only get the doctor you deserve. I have put this in practice many times, perhaps its dogged insistence I just keep asking until my health questions are answered. Grey Army alive and active!

  4. Well said, Maureen. Getting older does not have to mean that we must accept our aches and pains without a fight. Life is so much more enjoyable when it is pain-free.

    Your post reminds me of an old saying:
    ‘If your doctor tells you, ‘What do you expect at your age?’ you should reply, ‘A better doctor,’ and go find one.

    Which begs the question: is it better to have a young doctor who is abreast of the latest research findings, or an older one who may be set in his/her ways, but understands about getting older?

    • What a great response to a doctor! I guess we have to shop around and get the right balance. I go for a doctor who listens respectfully to what I say and has the skills to treat me.

  5. Enjoyed your blog Maureen. I have similar stories of the treatment of older folks in the health system. The elephant in the room here, is that health care ‘professionals’ (ha ha) seem to assume that one’s intelligence decreases as age increases. Pah!!! Humbug!!! My advice, make noise, speak up, become the squeaky wheel. They’ll soon ‘fix’ you properly to get rid of you.

    • Thank you, Margaret. I hope that care of older people (and everyone else) will improve when the health system sees that we are standing up for ourselves.

  6. Welcome to the blogosphere, Maureen! I look forward to reading more of your writing, as I’ve already enjoyed listening to you speak at meetings and hearing your story. You are an inspiration for what can be achieved at any age, and are a role model for those of us coming along not too far behind you. Best wishes. x

    • Lovely to hear from you, Louise. Thank you for your comments. I guess I was born lucky, and love to be challenged and try new things.

      • Maureen, I don’t think you were born lucky-I think you are making your own ‘luck’!
        Looking forward to your next blog – proud to read the blogs and also the responses you are receiving!

        • Thanks for all your support and kindness, Elizabeth, not just about the blog, but in my life.

  7. Hello Maureen. Congratulations on entering the brave new world of social media. You’re pluckier than I! Your post is topical: this semester I had a mature age student complete a creative non fiction research project on her account of her time as a aged care nurse, and her concerns as she considers her future on the other side of the equasion. Good luck with your endeavour.

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