When one of our residents reaches 100 years old, usually there is a big party and we send a lovely bunch of flowers to them.  It’s great to see some of the photos that appear in our care homes and sometimes in Heart & Soul magazine.  Even though more and more people reach this significant milestone, it is still clearly worthy of much celebration.

Since starting this role just over six months ago, I have made a point of sending a personal birthday card to any of our residents who is over 100 years old. It never fails to amaze me how many of these I get to write each month – and it’s lovely when I meet some of the people to whom I have sent a card when I visit the various homes and schemes.

It did make me think, as I approach another birthday when I will be about half the age of many of those to whom I send a card, how much life is still ahead of me and how much more I have to learn and experience.  If I was to believe many of the newspapers and websites that I read, it would appear that old age is something to be feared, perhaps avoided and certainly something that will bring with it financial challenges or even poverty.  How can I as a ‘50 something’ potentially have so little to look forward to?  And yet daily I contrast that with so many people clearly thriving on living well into their 100s?

I know that there are challenges about funding ever-increasing care and support needs and I know that either individuals or the state having sufficient funds to do that well, is, for the majority, a significant challenge.  Governments, Local Authorities and loving families and individuals will always struggle with this.

But if we ever get to the point that we see the financial ‘burden’ of old age outweighing the celebration of long and fulfilling lives, we really have missed the plot.

Adrian Bagg

Chief Executive

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