A story on the BBC website this morning – Councils ‘unprepared’ for elderly – has me a little worried. Not simply because most English councils are unprepared for the impact of a rapidly aging population, though that in itself is cause for concern.
Firstly, the phrase “rapidly ageing population” makes me do a double take. Surely we are all getting older at the same rate – taking it a day at a time? What steps can I take to I avoid being one of those who is ageing more rapidly?
And worse is to come: The [Audit C]ommission said about 40% of the population will be over 50 in 20 years’ time, although many of them will not need care.
I thought we were talking about “the elderly”.
Since when has over 50 been elderly? And – for Heaven’s sake! – who would expect most 50 year olds to “need care”? OK, I’ll probably appreciate some kind of care 20 years from now, but not just yet.
No doubt I shouldn’t say I’m insulted at being labelled ‘elderly’ as that could be construed as an ageist attitude. Even so, it’s not a word I expect to use to describe myself for many years to come.