Monthly Archives: January 2011

The World Is Your Oyster

Today I discovered a really good site that may be of interest. Seniorsforliving.com list their choice of  sites from the 100 top Seniors Blogs and Websites.

It is good to see the range of topics that are of interest to the mature generation –  healthy living; stories from travellers;thoughts on growing old gracefully;the joys of grandparenting; loads of good humour and a wealth of other  good reading.

The striking thing about these blogs is  that the authors are almost exclusively in North America, where of course they have blazed a trail on joining the cyber society, with a home computer being almost s common as having a domestic refrigerator..

I will post relevant links on this blog from time to time so that you do not have to go searching  in Google to find something that will make you smile, something to challenge you, something to give you hope or to reinforce your own views.

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Filed under Blogging, Healthy Living, Humour, Seniors, Social Networking

The Generation Game

It seems to be a fact of life that the older we get, the more we are interested in our lineage and in the lives and times of the generations who went before us. How many people have ‘kicked’ themselves for not having asked the question to which they now cannot have answers because the person who has the knowledge can no longer remember details from decades earlier or has passed away?

Friends of the Elderly in Ireland are spearheading a ‘Life and Times Biography’ project whereby National School children will collect information from an older person in their community. This inspired project will benefit the older person, the young person and society as a whole, as an oral history resource of enormous value will be compiled in the process!

The programme is at 3 different levels – for an individual student, for a class, or for an entire school year. Each participating student will:

  • Make a friendship commitment to an elderly person
  • Produce a ‘Life and Times Biography’  for that person, and
  • Write an essay on the topic ” When My Elderly Friend Was Young”

The idea is of course to ease loneliness and to develop in young children an appreciation of older generations. Hopefully the resulting data will be compiled and captured as an oral history of times gone by – a wonderful social initiative resulting in a priceless resource captured for posterity!

For more on this Friends of the Elderly Project click here.

Bridging the Generation Gap

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Filed under Genealogy, Older Generation, Oral History, Seniors

Those who can pay most, will pay most?

Everybody pays, and those who can pay most will pay most.

This is a direct quote from the Budget speech on December 7th 2010, of Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan.

Since then Irish workers have braced themselves for the impact on pay packets of the new ‘Universal Social Charge’ and changes to tax bands.  The effect will be harsh, but everyone is in this together and ‘those who can pay most, will pay most.’

Newspapers and websites published calculators to help people work out the effect of the budget on their personal take home pay.  There were significant differences between various sites and it became clear that the effects of the Universal Social Charge and alterations in tax bands were so complex that it was almost impossible to calculate the impact.  For example, one site suggested that the impact of the budget on a widow over 60 on an annual income of €45,000 would be in the order of €83 per month, another calculated the reduction in pay at €65 per month.

Reality has arrived in pay packets since the end of the first week in January. The effects of the budget on ‘ordinary’ workers of all ages and many circumstances have been quite shocking.  Many were openly stunned;  – not least the widow in the example above who found that the reduction in pay was €216 per month.  A medical card holder was equally badly hit by the abolition of the reduced PRSI rate and finds that they are paying an extra €180 per month.

‘Everybody pays, and those who can pay most will pay most‘ These are the exact words from a transcript of the Budget speech.  It was in fact a lie.

The impact of the Universal Social Charge on a single worker with an annual salary of €150,000 will result in an INCREASE in take home pay of about €120 per month.  And it has been calculated that a person with an income of €1million per annum will be some €23,000 better off as a result of this budget.

‘Those who can pay most, will pay most?’

For more see the Irish Independent.

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Filed under Budget 2011, Older Generation, Seniors, Social Policy, Widows in Ireland, Working Poor

WARNING! When I am old……

Warning – When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

and pick the flowers in other people’s gardens

and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

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Filed under Humour, Older Generation, Poetry, Seniors

Happy Birthday!

How many have you had?!

It is interesting how the marking of your  birthday –  that special day each year in which your arrival on earth is celebrated  – changes through life.  Many of us may never have had any celebration of birthday whatsoever as children. The arrival of Hallmark and the ready availability of special cards to mark the occasion may mean that many of us now do find that our birthday is  acknowledged by others.  The arrival of a birthday card gives great pleasure.

As we grow older, we do for sure  notice the cards that are no longer received  – from parents, relatives and friends who are no longer with us. But do birthdays matter less to us now than they did long years ago? It seems that they DO matter very much, and a birthday card received a day late, a gift received well after THE  day can be a disappointment to many.

A group of  people of various ages contributed accounts of their  birthday experiences in 1990 and again in 2002 to a researcher. By comparing their accounts it was possible to see how their feelings about ageing and celebrating their special day altered. It seems that having a birthday remembered is important to a child of any age.

You can read this research here.

References:  Bytheway, Bill (2009). Writing about age, birthdays and the passage of time. Ageing and Society,29(6), pp. 883–901.

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Filed under Birthdays, Loneliness, Older Generation

Retirement Age

This week we read that Jerry Brown, at the age of 72 was sworn in as the new governor of California. At 72, he will lead one of the world’s largest economies and over 38 million people. Click here for facts about him.

Recently a 90-year-old  bus driver in Minnesota celebrated his birthday and 30 years of bus driving. This means that he began this career at age 60.

In Ireland, retirement is eagerly awaited by many who look forward to spending quality time enjoying activities away from the work place .  However, anyone facing retirement who does not have the means to continue in a comfortable lifestyle will await the date of compulsory retirement and the official dismissal letter  with a heavy heart.  Rather than being an occasion for celebration, it is in reality a very dark time.

Who can rightly decide when a working life is over  and at what age a person has no further value?

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Filed under Older Generation, Older workers, Retirement Age, Seniors

Hello!

Welcome to this blog!

A particular welcome to the ‘silver generation’, those of us of a certain vintage who may wish to shout louder to be heard; those who may find themselves in less than favourable circumstances and who need to discover a way of becoming victorious rather than being victims; those of us who may feel that we have been left behind in this time of blogging, tweeting, and social networking; those of us who feel that we have a lot to offer but are perhaps never asked. Our lives are changing at a pace that we have not before experienced; but we KNOW that we can make a difference!

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Filed under Blogging, Older Generation, Seniors, Social Networking, Twitter