Role Models for the Elderly

This year the BBC broadcasts Attenborough: 60 years in the Wild, celebrating Britain’s favourite elderly role model.  Sir David Attenborough brought natural history into the homes of nature lovers across the UK as well as running the administration of the entire British Broadcasting Corporation.  At a time when many people are thinking of slowing down, the 86 year-old still makes gargantuan steps forward in his career with no less than three major projects  being aired this year. So what lies behind the spirit of adventure keeping our beloved elderly role models young?

Psychologists tell us to keep an active and inquisitive mind and modern day scientific institutions have their fair share of prominent talents.  Sir Patrick Moore shines every bit as brightly as his celestial darlings and has inspired countless people to sit quietly by their telescopes to learn more about the night sky. Stephen Hawking, 70 was recently voted the person students would most like to go for a drink with!

Imagination then, is that the key ingredient? Neither George Lucas nor Steven Speilberg seem to have any ideas about folding up their directors chairs just yet. The two icons of cinema both kissed their 50´s goodbye several years ago and are not showing any signs of calling cut on their careers.

It must be something in the film making water fonts because acting careers seem to bring out the very best in age.  Stars like Dames Judy Dench, Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren take the leading role in most prominent idols for the elderly and their performances seem to be getting stronger with age. Sir David’s older brother Lord Richard Attenborough is loved the world over, not only for his acting ability but also his exquisite direction of films like Chaplain and Shadowlands.

Then there are the aging icons that continue to inspire people of all generations with their lust for life.  Sir Paul McCartney was chosen as the shining star to lift the nation in Olympic celebrations and shows no signs of burning out after a glittering career. When he was with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, in the 1960´s did he think he would still be rocking fifty years later after hitting 70?

Then you have the likes of Manchester United´s Sir Alex Ferguson who announced his retirement six years ago, but can´t tear himself away from the game. Having turned 70 years old you would think he might be feeling the pressure at Old Trafford, but the seasoned campaigner never looks fazed.

The list of stars, music personalities and brainiacs is too long to list here, but every one of them proves that life does not end just because you reach a certain age, finish work and begin to doubt your capabilities. Even for those elderly people being looked after in care homes, just because our body´s and brains grow old and we need help from time to time, the old cliché you are only as young as you feel, can be used to instil positive beliefs and when you look at the elderly role models competing against people from younger generations you imagine they are rediscovering their youth by being around young people. May be this says that carehome supplies should not only include the daily essentials but also include the occasional visit from youth groups in the local area to help the residents enjoy their company and feel young again.

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