2 reminders about ageing

by Catherine Rickwood

“Age is just an abstraction not a straight-jacket.”

This poignant quote from James Cromwell in the movie ‘Still Mine’ is a striking reminder of how our attitude can limit or expand our view of being older. We probably notice this most when we meet, read, or hear about an older person doing remarkable things, or living differently to how we envisage an older person ‘should be’ living.

Apart from this movie being beautiful and inspiring it has an underlying tone of the power of grit, determination and a degree of old-fashioned stubbornness. It also provides us with two reminders about becoming older:

1. Attitude matters. A lot. Think old and we become old. Think we can and there’s a good chance that we can. Or at least we can do a version of what we want.

2. Assuming that older people don’t know what they’re doing because of their age could be associated more with our fears and doubts than their ability. At the risk of stating the obvious, genuinely listening to and respecting the needs and wants of our parents, grandparents or those for whom we care is essential. It could be us one day. Would we want our wishes to be ignored?

Of course, there may be a time when more care is required. The question is though: Is a retirement village or aged care facility the best or only answer? Sometimes it might be, and perhaps sometimes there’s other options.

And a reminder …

Traditional craftsmanship is a timeless skill that can continue to create incredible beauty regardless of the latest technological innovations.

I loved this movie. And whilst I realise it’s a few years old, it’s worth a mention and possibly another viewing, looking through a lens that says: ‘What am I going to do with the 20 or 30 years of my life that potentially exist after I retire? What are my dreams?’

If you haven’t seen the movie, I suggest you have a box of tissues nearby.

Finally, I’d be interested in hearing what you thought of the movie and what ideas it prompted for your own life as you become older.  I look forward to hearing from you.




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About the Author

Catherine Rickwood

An experienced researcher and business executive, Catherine's work is informed by academic knowledge and evidence to deliver practical actions with measurable outcomes. These combined skills create a powerful and useful ability to delve deep on issues, ask incisive questions, think laterally, and bring knowledge and insights to individuals, a team, and an organisation keen to engage with, and include the over 50's as a valuable part of their business strategy.

Catherine Rickwood is solutions-focussed, working with innovative organisations keen to improve customer and employee insights and empathy to increase their success in new markets, build loyalty, and increase innovation. She does this using a co-design process that engages employees and key stakeholders to create collaborative solutions. Contact Catherine to discover how her services can support your organisation to harness the changing demographic reality.

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