Feeling my age - or not

THE description on a news bulletin the other day of a couple aged 62 and 58 as being “elderly” appalled me, not least because I would fit into that category if it were true.

I’ve always thought that people should not be threatened with the elderly label until they have reached state pension age.

And the prospect of that has been receding lately what with the official retirement age being extended by the government and people living longer.

Perhaps 75, or even 80, might be a more realistic age when someone would reluctantly accept that the dreaded tag could apply to them.

I was heartened this week by the results of a survey commissioned by Saga which revealed just how outdated are conventional attitudes to being old.


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The question put to people over 50 was, “Do you feel old?” A whopping 86 per cent of them said “No”. The determined response was just as strong among those in their 60s.

There was a “No” from 84 per cent of people in their early 70s and an astonishing 68 per cent of those over 75 also do not feel “old”.

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Saga’s director general summed it all up by saying: “So there you have it, people who are generally considered old by society do not feel so and attitudes to old age are clearly undergoing a major societal shift – and about time too.”

The anti-aging thing is starting at a young age, judging from another survey unveiled this week.

Just under half of Brits questioned said they only feel like a grown up once they reach the age of 25 with a third saying they don’t feel grown up until they are 26 or over.

And in a great spirit of defiance, nearly half of those that don’t feel like a grown up believe they will never feel like a grown up, at least not until they have children or buy their first home.

These two bits of research certainly perked me up after reading last week that a study in the British Medical Journal suggested that the brain’s ability to function can start to deteriorate as early as 45.

University College London boffs found a 3.6 per cent decline in mental reasoning in people aged 45 to 49.

Personally, I much prefer to believe previous research which suggested that cognitive decline does not begin much before the age of 60.

Before leaving you for another week, I cannot go without mentioning Rocky, Britain’s best-dressed dog.

Most owners of pooches do not believe they need to be dressed, but Rocky’s carer thinks otherwise, which is why she have bought him 1,500 designer outfits, spending more on his clothes every year than the average British woman spends on herself.

Rocky is said to sulk unless he changes at least three times a day. The choices include fancy dress costumes of an elephant, panda, bumble bee and Superman. Oh, and Rocky travels around in a designer baby buggy.

I do not think I need to say any more on the subject.

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