Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Ageing is not for sissies

Back in March I said goodbye to a very special lady, my Great Aunt. I have such fond memories of growing up where she is at the very forefront of the smiles and the laughter, she was an incredibly strong and kind women who always had the time for her family. 

She kept her good humour and grace right up to her final moments on this earth, and continued to instill her pearls of wisdom, even now I can't help but smile when I think of the down right hilarious things she used to say, and I think it is only fitting that I share some of my favourite 'Awesome Audrey Quotes' with you today.

'I'm not deaf...I'm ignoring you'.

'Ever stop to think and forget to start again?'

'Spoiling the grandchildren? It's my job!'

'What if the 'Hokey cokey' really is what it is all aboout?'

'Trust me. At my age I'm an expert at everything'.

'Ageing is not for sissies'.

It's true, ageing really is not for sissies, but regardless of whether we are ready for it, growing old will come to all of us at some point in our lives, so it really is important to live the best life that we can. It's so beyond important to be ridiculously happy and smile through everything that has the power to make us feel inferior. They are the life lessons that my Great Aunt has taught me, because you truly do not know what is going to happen.

Audrey was diagnosed with Parkinson's over a decade ago, it followed a fall where she really injured herself, and as time progressed she was moved into the home where she spent the rest of her days. It was a lovely home and family was never far away because Audrey was and always will be the very heart of the family. It was essential to find a home where Audrey would be happy, because living on her own at the home she had always lived was no longer an option, she was falling more and  we had to look at the Bathing Solutions so that she was safe.

The last time I saw Audrey was in the hospital after a fall almost 4 years ago. I had Leo as a baby and I really wanted her to meet him, so I took him along with me. She couldn't lift her head very well now, so it was hard to hear what she was saying as she was almost looking directly down at her chest. I could see that she was pleased to meet little Leo, and the big smile said more than words could ever say.

2016 is almost like a new world, because for one of the first times ever, the senior generations are surpassing that of the youth. By 2050 the global population will be made up of 15.6% within the age range of 65+! The levels of care within the NHS and the standards of living mean that we are better equipped to help people, so even when they get sick we can offer a great quality of life. With people living longer than they have ever lived, we really do need to address the issue of how we as a society cast people aside once they reach a certain age. It happens, and we are all aware that it happens, but why does society often cast off it's seniors as 'incapable' or 'unable' to learn new skills?

Bathing Solutions are driving the Breaking Barriers campaign which aims to break those social barriers right down. It's high time people's mindsets matched the times and it's time to once and for all shake the stigma that has been hovering around. Who's to say when people 'should' retire? Who's to say that your too old to do 'that' job or go back to college?

Audrey was in her 80's when she passed away,  and she was right, ageing is not for sissies, but you really are only as old as you feel.

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