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What does ageing gracefully mean to you?

Our ideas about ageing and what it means to grow older have changed over the years.  

It’s no longer about fading discreetly into the background; retirees are starting new businesses, travelling the world, defying fashion and style “rules” about dressing your age and in many cases having more fun than the younger generations below!

Whether it’s about staying true to yourself, pursuing new hobbies, trying botox or avoiding it altogether, there’s no right or wrong way to grow older.

Celebrities like Helen Mirren are leading the way, showing that ageing can and should be viewed as something positive. She says:

“The best thing about being over 70 is being over 70. Certainly when I was 45, the idea of being 70 was like, ‘Arghhh!’

“But you only have two options in life: Die young or get old. There is nothing else. The idea of dying young when you’re 25 is kind of cool — a bit romantic, like James Dean.

“But then you realise that life is too much fun to do that. It’s fascinating and wonderful and emotional. So you just have to find a way of negotiating getting old psychologically and physically.”

This September on Silversurfers we’re exploring the idea of ageing gracefully and what it means to our community.

How do we grow older at a time when we’re living much longer?

Today we’re asking you: what does ageing gracefully mean to you? Or would you prefer to label it ageing disgracefully?

 

Do you believe in ageing gracefully?

220 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

We'd love to hear your comments

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Sparkle45
18th Sep 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
When I was at school I was asked what age do you consider to be old and I said 90 ... sure enough my mother is now 95 and looks 75 and she aged naturally and I am 72 ... boring

I look 15 yrs younger in reality so perhaps I am aging gracefully ... I am enjoying my life and no longer afraid or lack confidence .... no means yes nowadays as I can do it ... and my zest for life excels ... smile
Kes
11th Sep 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
I don't think I would ever have described myself graceful at any age, and certainly not now. But neither am I disgraceful. I am alive, reasonably heathy, and ageing, I have no choice in that, so I just try and evolve and adapt to that state as best I can, each and every day, whilst having as much fun as I can of course.
TyeTye
10th Sep 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
I've felt uncomfortable with my age since turning 30. As time moves relentlessly on that has changed. even in my mid sixties life is still rather pleasant. I have never been graceful and do not intend to become so.
Bristol-Binky
8th Sep 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Generally, I don't feel my age (67). I've carried on working (albeit in a part-time capacity). I've noticed that we're living in an angry and intolerant society compared to a few years ago and that's why I try to remain polite despite the provocation that surrounds us.
The one thing that still mystifies me is when I visit the barber and right at the very end he suddenly appears with a mirror to show you the back-view of your head. Aaaagh, surely there's a mistake. The Friar Tuck-like figure he's showing just cannot belong to the one I'm looking at in front of me. Gets me every time.
Fruitcake13
8th Sep 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Age is mostly just a number, but it also brings a degree of wisdom, the choice of whether to age gracefully or disgracefully is entirely up to you as an individual. Just be who you are either way.
Woottonm
8th Sep 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Just because I am over a certain age and a little crinkly round the edges does not mean that I have to sit in a chair and do nothing with my time I have left, why shouldn't I still enjoy the nice things in life, i.e. travel, socialise etc.

I call that growing older gracefully.
SusanW92
8th Sep 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Growing older can sometimes mean that it's alright to laugh at, or make fun of the older generation.They do not realise that one day , they too will be old. Just wish younger generation could understand this.
Margaret Hart
8th Sep 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
If you've taken care of your skin through out your life and eat a healthy diet you should naturally age quite the well without lots of unnecessary marks and creases. You must always be very careful with your eyes so you don't end up with suitcases underneath. Even though I've had skin cancer and had to have plastic surgery the specialist made a wonderful job of it and very few people even notice the scar but I do take great care off it.
Fruitcake13
8th Sep 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Margaret, I've taken reasonable care of my skin (but only since I got older) and have (mostly!) stuck to a healthy diet, and people always guess my age as in my 40s, but I'm in my 60s. I don't, however, put that down to my efforts, I just have good genes. My mother was the same, she always looked 20 years younger than she actually was and she made no consistent special efforts either.

As for being 'very careful with your eyes so you don't end up with suitcases underneath', I'm afraid I must disagree with you there too. I don't have suitcases underneath my eyes, but that's because 'suitcases' are genetic, and they don't run in my family. There are young people out there with 'suitcases' and that's just what they've inherited genetically.

Taking care of yourself is a good thing (so I don't disagree with you in principle) but people can't alter their genes.
Margaret Hart
9th Sep 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I generally think young people with suitcases under their eyes I,comes from not enough sleep and other bad habits although there could be a generic streambut if so I've beaten it. I'm just 70 and people don't believe me but I'm glad they don't see me on my bad days as I have very poor health which is another reason I have taken care. I'm pleased you don't look your age but perhapswe are both lucky. I don't believe in face lifts and other ops to look younger as invariably they fail in the end and you can't keep going back for another. It shows terribly when people do that but really I suppose it's each to his/her own.
Fruitcake13
9th Sep 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Margaret, you may well have a point about young people not getting enough sleep and thereby acquiring puffy eyes. Many of them do sit up late at night chatting on their laptops etc., something we never had when we were their age. I must admit I used to read books under the bed cover by the light of a torch when I was a young teen, but inevitably got caught by my father who would confiscate the torch!

Perhaps we are both lucky. Like you, I don't believe in face lifts, or any kind of cosmetic surgery for that matter (unless the person has had it done to correct damage from an unfortunate accident) and I would never even contemplate it myself as I totally agree with you that they 'fail in the end'. Also, some of those who have had major or repeated cosmetic surgery purely for 'vanity' reasons (men included) look worse afterwards as they end up barely able to move their faces and with a permanently startled expression! Not a good look!

The other thing that often strikes me is when you see very elderly people from, for example, African tribes on documentary films etc., and they always seem to look so wise and engaging, even though they are often as wrinkled as a walnut and have no teeth left! Age can have its own special beauty, don't you think?
Margaret Hart
9th Sep 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
I do think age has its own beauty and as you say wisdom. We must be very similar as I had the same game with my father and the torch as you.. I also was unable to keep myself warm so the doctor told my dad to get me an electric blanket which horrified him. As he went to bed he would make sure it was switched off but I would wait until I thought he was asleep and put it on again but he eventually put it under their bedroom door so I couldn't do that. We weren't angels after all but there wasn't the nasty and viscious behaviour there is now and of course the language. I feel we were lucky to be young when we were.
andbrown01
7th Sep 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
no you can only be true to youpself
linj
7th Sep 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
Avoiding all mirrors is a great help in allowing you to think, feel and dress for the age you still think you are. (In my case 30ish). And to hell with the people who say she should know better at her age (73).
barge
6th Sep 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Age is just a number, although I suffer from acute osteoarthritis with replacement hip and knee, l am still.able to enjoy life and thankfully have an active mind.
At 83 still driving with mobility scooter in the boot, otherwise I would be totally homebound
Before my husband died this year we enjoyed travel, cruises and visiting friends around the UK.
I have 2choices, stay at home and be miserable or make an effort to get out and about.
Lionel
6th Sep 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
Good on you Barge!
LindaJ73
6th Sep 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
I'm 65 and enjoy living my life to the full. Grandchildren are always keeping me busy. A great social life. I love clothes, holidays traveling. I intend to keep on enjoying everything life throws at me.
Prosseco
6th Sep 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I intend to grow old at my pace, I have children and grandchildren, I am still working, life is too short I intend to enjoy every moment of it
diamondback
6th Sep 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
does a number really matter if you are feeling ok? Does how you look affect the way you feel? Does what other people think about your looks make your life easier or ensures you will live one day longer than is your God given quota? My answer to all of this is 'No!'.....So stop worrying about the number, and keep on living your life, day by day. Because that is all you get - a day at a time.
Look after your body, the temple of your soul. Don't put rubbish inside it, no matter what all others do. Don't be swayed by those more vain or richer than you are - they have, in reality, exactly what you have and no more - One life.
Lionel
6th Sep 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
Brilliant, just brilliant. There's nothing I could add to that. Thank you.
janpot
6th Sep 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
I reached 60 last year, which seemed quite monumental. That age, but no pension until 66!
I gave up work a couple of months back to spend more time with my husband, who is already retired, and our dogs. We have a touring caravan and get away often. We have grandchildren who we look after once a week. I am adjusting at the moment and need to set a bit of structure so I don't waste time. We took a 3 week trip to Australia in May and toured around seeing the sights and it was wonderful. If you can do something don't put it off, tomorrow may not come.
Yodama
6th Sep 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
Don't really think about it, graceful or not.
Just do it all for as long as you are able, if you find it too much, stop doing it and do something else. Lots to experience still, just keep doing it.......life I mean!! 🙂
StanL
6th Sep 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
At nearly 74 I intend to enjoy my life to the full doing all the things I used to do and any more I can think of. To hell with my Alzheimers, Arthritis and AMD.
Purple Tulip
6th Sep 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
I have always been described as unconventional so I have no idea if I'm aging gracefully or not! I wouldn't have botox or surgery for sure. My daughter was born when I was forty and she has asked me what it's like to be old. I am 65. I told her"It's my turn". That's how I see it and it's really interesting
4
Thanks for voting!
Ageing happily is my goal. As my name on here suggests, I'm helping set up a cohousing group where we intend to encourage each other to keep active and healthy, enjoy our food (and drink!) and generally have a lot of fun together, whilst leaving as small a footprint on the planet as we reasonably can. Don't think graceful comes into it anywhere!
KathleenD7
6th Sep 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
Now is the time to find yourself again,try out different things,which would be easyer if Adult Education had not almost dissappear ed, or is too expencive,when you are no longer looking after husbands &children,you are free,make the most of the time left,read& learn about all those things you never had time for,say what you want& do what you want,within reason.
5
Thanks for voting!
I want to grow old disgracefully ,,,,I am 73 and mad as a box of frogs my 4 children visit regularly so do my 15 grand children and I have 6 great grand children ,,,,,,and they laugh at me and with me we have a great time ,,,,I have a bucket list to do when my time is up I hope it's at a party with a a glass in one hand ,and a smile on my face ,,,and blue and pink strips in my hair
2
Thanks for voting!
You sound like a very inspirational lady! Love your style 🙂
CaroleAH
5th Sep 2017
4
Thanks for voting!
Given the opportunity it would be great to slide disgracefully into old age! 🙂 In the meantime, I shall continue to apply my eyeliner and lippie - even to do the gardening, dress to suit me - not fashion and enjoy my life as it is - we never know what is round the corner and wouldn't it be a shame to miss out on the "here and now" instead of having unrealistic expectations of what life might bring if only we were richer, thinner, more eloquent, more extrovert etc etc.
Sparkle45
5th Sep 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Am a lucky girl as my mother is 95 and looks 75 and I follow suit ... am 72 and look years younger in the flesh so am told often enough ... smile

It does tend to be about the genes and not the ones we wear but are born with .... am so grateful for mine as it keeps me going after a difficult life ... smile
Andronicus
5th Sep 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Unfortunately I cannot help growing oldd disgracefully !
scandiman
5th Sep 2017
6
Thanks for voting!
I'm in my early 60s. I intend to dress as I please, having a drink at the week-end, go out as much as I can and carry on taking an interest in my grandchildren. I shall still enjoy a frolic with my wife, and a glance at a pretty girl. Keith Richards said that growing old isn't about arriving at your grave in perfect condition, but arriving used up and worn out, declaring, 'bloody hell, what a blast!', The advantage of getting older is that you no longer care what anyone thinks, you have nothing to prove and no-one to impress.
Lionel
6th Sep 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
I couldn't agree more. After six years in a very straight laced English Public School, and a five year career in the London wine trade I quit it all and went to be a farm worker.

Pigs don't care what we look like, neither do cattle. I could combine wheat in a top hat and tails and it's still wheat.

These days, in my mid sixties I have a wife who feels much the same. I brew my own beer, smoke a pipe in the evenings and have a marvellous time with our three Border Collies. I think these days I work harder than ever before. But hard work doesn't kill us, no, it's indolence and self indulgence neither of which could be fairly applied to me.

I can't quite go with Keith Richards as I like peace and quiet and would wish to die in peace at home. But a blast? Oh, yes, against all odds, I did it my way, and what a time it was, and is.
jeanmark
5th Sep 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
I so agree with those sentiments Scandiman. I can now wear purple and dance in the rain and not care about who see's me!
Lionel
6th Sep 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
Just a few years ago one very hot summers evening we had a massive thunder storm. In the dead of night and stark naked I went into the front garden and got soaked. No one saw me, I hope (not a pretty sight) but it was a marvellous time.
scandiman
5th Sep 2017
4
Thanks for voting!
A relation of my wife's thinks that, because you're a certain age you ought not to do certain things. After 50 you 'settle down'. She looks, dresses and acts much older than 65. A friend of ours is 80 next year and wants to do a wing walk on her birthday. Guess who looks younger!
Munsterlander
5th Sep 2017
5
Thanks for voting!
At nearly 70 years old, balding and a bit chubby I am not sure if I am ageing gracefully or just starting to fall apart. probably a bit of both. Women age much more gracefully than us chaps who seem to give up caring from about 50. I did as I found there are much more important things to worry about than my personal appearance.
jeanmark
5th Sep 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Well Munsterlander, isn't there a saying that men are like a fine wine, the older they get the better they are!
Marley444
5th Sep 2017
5
Thanks for voting!
A very interesting question ... I think I am somewhere in the middle. Whilst I wouldn't wear a cropped top and ripped jeans still, at my age and not consider Botox either, I am still up for adventure and excitement and exploring the world. I think I dress for my age, without being frumpy but still on trend and am very happy with my image and still have good self-esteem. It isn't one size fits all... I think it's about what feels right for you.

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