Don’t Forget The Old Guys! #Breaking Barriers

November 29, 2016Mandi Morrison

We are now well and truly into the festive season, I have seen many people who have already put up their Christmas Trees, ours won’t be up until at least December as we celebrate Eowyn’s birthday at the end of November, so we wait until after.

I think our Christmas is going to be a quiet one this year, with both sets of grandparents going to spend it with our siblings, they are fortunate because they have somewhere to go, but what about all those older generation that have no-one to spend Christmas with, I remember visiting my nan in the nursing home during the Christmas holidays and I insisted that they find a way to transport her to my parent’s house (I didn’t have my own home then) for Christmas Day as I couldn’t bear the thought of her not being with the family at Christmas, (although I probably didn’t give enough thought to bathing solutions!)I must have known because that was the last one she spent with us, I felt so sorry for all of the other residents, as so many of them had no-one, and at the time they all seemed so old and frail.

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It’s funny how things change, by 2050 the percentage of over 65s will be 15.6% of the global population, meaning there will be more pensioners than youth, but with the advances in medicine, life expectancy has increased, my dad is aged 71 but I don’t view him as old, ¬†I wonder if that is because I am getting older myself and my perception of old age is now different to when I was a teenager ?

He has spent his life as a Cake decorator, he hasn’t lost his skills and he is still making celebration cakes with the most amazing decoration, a skill that not many younger people have been taught. A few years ago he did a course in car mechanics, he had always loved tinkering with cars, so he thought why not go and get a proper qualification, just because people are getting older, it doesn’t mean they lose the ability to learn new skills.

There is a campaign running at present called Breaking Barriers that is encouraging people to break the stigma and get out there and learn a new skill, regardless of your age.

So, if you have an older relative, why not take them along to a new class or sign them up this Christmas for a course to learn something new, you never know, they might surprise you and find something they can do better than you! Although looking at my dad and social media, I think I am safe on that one! (Sorry Dad…)

But his new mechanics skills have certainly come in handy over the last few years, and saved both him and me quite a bit of money, as he has been able to do the simple jobs himself, he also has more knowledge when he goes to the garage and they do the famous suck in of breath and the shaking of the head, he simply says “I’m pretty sure it’s so and so” and they suddenly change their tactic from old man who doesn’t know what he’s talking about to, better do a good job as he will know if we do it wrong!

This is a collaborative post.

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