The 1st October marks Older People’s Day, a day dedicated to commemorating the achievements of elderly people within our communities.
The day is celebrated internationally as it coincides with the United Nations’s International Day of Older Persons and provides everyone with the opportunity to recognise the valuable contributions that older people make to our economies and societies around the world.
It is widely reported that the current generation of older people are living longer, and looking after their needs is key to ensuring their wellbeing and integration into our communities. There are many elderly people who are still enjoying life well into their senior years, and are reaping the benefits that the advances of healthcare and technology can offer. Many older people are still able to enjoy an independent and active lifestyle, as well as integrate with neighbours, friends and family regularly, to ensure that they have companionship and the opportunity to leave their homes when they wish.
This is partly due to innovative telecare technologies being introduced to the healthcare market, such as pendants, fall detectors and GPS trackers, which allow older people with vision, hearing and mobility issues to leave their homes and do what they need to with added peace of mind and safety.
Here at Welbeing, we see many clients from around the UK who are leading fulfilled lives during their older years, and we are continually thrilled, though not surprised, by their achievements. The Welbeing team have heard many fascinating stories from our older customers over the years, reminding us that senior generations have plenty of wisdom and knowledge to pass on to future generations. For instance, one of our customers told us a remarkable story about how she would dress as a nun to fool Nazis during the Second World War – this is just one shining example of the obstacles that many have overcome during the course of their lifetimes.
As well as having incredible stories to share from their younger years, many elderly people are heroes in their communities during later life, looking after loved ones and taking on the role of carer, to reduce the need for intervention from hospitals and healthcare professionals. One such carer is the wife of Mr F, who regularly assists with his daily wellbeing, alongside the use of telecare equipment.
The Welbeing team have been so impressed with the contributions that older people have made within our communities over the years that we have been running a monthly ‘Community Hero Award’ feature with Sussex Express newspaper, which has been won by many elderly heroes. For example, Mick, 68, was a milkman for many years in his hometown of Kingston, East Sussex. Such was his sunny demeanour and willingness to go the extra mile that he was thrown a leaving party by his customers and was presented with a generous cheque of £1,600 when he decided to retire from the profession. Just one of Mick’s notable moments during his career whilst serving his local community, include the time he stayed with an elderly resident after she was taken ill and waited for an ambulance to arrive.
Mick isn’t alone in being an older person who carries on living an active life well into retirement and older age, as Ann Green served for 25 years volunteering to help people with brain injuries after being moved by the plight of a friend’s daughter who had suffered injuries following a car collision. There are also the heart-warming stories of Diana who inspired youngsters to read for 40 years, and wildlife rescuer Trevor who ensured animal safety and wellbeing for 30 years.
Of course, many older people continue to thrive in our communities and play a significant role in modern life as they have the confidence to leave their homes and live fulfilling lives. This is also partly thanks to family members and friends who help their elderly loved ones to have the opportunity to socialise and seek medical attention should they require it. At Welbeing, we know family matters, which is why our team are on hand to assist with any queries you may have about ensuring the safety and happiness of a relative or loved one.
To help challenge attitudes to ageing and to spread the word of how older people do contribute to society, please join the conversation on Twitter @olderpeoplesday and add #olderpeoplesday #fulloflife hashtags to your Tweets.
Whether you feel like you need a bit more support, or if you would like to know more about how your beloved relative or friend can live a fulfilling, active and independent lifestyle with extra peace of mind, please contact a Welbeing expert.