News & Events

Older people are not a burden – we enrich society

September 29, 2020

Every second, two people celebrate their 60th birthday. According to estimates, persons aged 60 and above currently account for 901 million and are expected to grow to more than 1.4 billion by 2030. However, older people are often portrayed as frail, weak and an economic burden on society. The reality nevertheless, is very different.

Recent findings show that older persons are an enormous asset to societies around the world, and these include answers to a survey to Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria residents living at Liscombe House.

A feisty group at the best of times, Liscombe House residents have given short shrift to the question are older people a burden to society.

“Wait till they experience getting old and see if they have the same question,” was Yvonne Brown’s answer.

“They should plan for their future if they think older people are a burden,” Elna Page said.

“You’ve never been there so you don’t know what it’s like! Not everybody says that, thank goodness,” Harry Studwick retorted.

They were among several residents responding to questions about becoming older as part of OCAV’s contribution to the UN International Day of the Older Person on Thursday 1 October. This year is the 30th anniversary of the day, and the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.

The group was equally robust with their answers to what would they tell the Prime Minister to do for older people.

Maurie Callow suggested the Prime Minister should thank people more for what their contribution through life, while Pam Wanless urged him to educate older people on how to spend money so they can live a happier life. Peg Willcocks urged him to listen more carefully to older people and Tony Carroll said the Prime Minister needed to put more funding into the allocation of pensions.

The group, too, lamented over the state of politics today and the incidence of selfishness among people.

Tony Carroll said he was mad about politics and the incompetence of people in higher responsibility. His view was echoed by Yvonne Brown who said that the world is in a mess.  “It makes me mad that not enough good people are in charge.”

Harry Studwick is concerned about the degree of selfishness in the world today and the lack of love shown to people or each other. Peg Willcocks is adamant that we have lost the art to live a simple life.

All the participants said having family and health were the greatest things about their age.

Did you know?

  • By 2020, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years.
  • Over the next three decades, the number of older persons worldwide is projected to more than double, reaching more than 1.5 billion persons in 2050,and 80% of them will be living in low- and middle-income countries.

Josephine Katite may be a long way from Kenya, where she was born and lived until 2005 but the experience of looking after her elderly grandparents is very much with her every day in her work at Liscombe House.

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