With an impressive panel ranging in age from 57 to 87, this lively discussion covered everything from fashion to friendship and how women feel about growing old ‘disgracefully’. Which in short means getting older is pretty damn good!
Journalist Katherine Whitehorn, who celebrated her 87th birthday last week, started the debate by saying she would never have believed, aged 30, that she would be having this much fun in her 80s.
And the consensus was that getting older is relative – who can really define ‘old age’ now?
‘We are pioneering a different way of ageing’, said Caroline Lodge, co-author of Retiring with Attitude.
‘Today you’re not old till you’re dead’, agreed artist and curator Sue Kreitzman whose work is currently on show in Selfridges’ windows. Even the London department store is celebrating the retirement renaissance as part of their Bright Old Things campaign.
Sue also encouraged the audience – of all ages – to embrace getting older by dressing how they wanted: ‘Don’t be invisible – be bolder and braver! Don’t wear beige it might kill you!’
Stevie Spring, Chair of BBC Children in Need, emphasised the fact that this is the time of our lives ‘Finally we can do what we want and that means for most women actually giving back to society.’ People over 65 put more into the economy than they take out and should be celebrated – not ignored or dismissed.
Katherine also pointed out that start ups started by people at pensionable age do better than those started by those under 30. Social media was also discussed as something that is being embraced by this generation as a way to escape the loneliness and isolation older people can feel.
The main message was loud and clear – embrace ageing because we’re more empowered than we think.