Not many people like being called old.
Even when we hear that 70 is the new 50, the word “old” conjures up images of frailty, loneliness and dependency.
Language used to describe older people often fails to recognise the wonderful diversity that advancing age can bring to communities.
Dundee Pensioners’ Forum was founded in 1985 to campaign for a better deal for older people.
Thirty-four years on, the mission remains unchanged but our campaigns reach beyond the confines of age to include areas where we see unfairness, injustice or discrimination.
Our recent successful campaign against the shower charge is an example.
Council tenants of all ages paid these outrageously unfair charges, not only older people.
Meanwhile, the forum joined with Dundee’s young people in City Square on September 20 to support their campaign to raise awareness of the global climate crisis.
The young people’s enthusiasm and commitment was palpable and, considering the cause, it was fitting and appropriate that older people were able to take part.
Our recent event to celebrate the UN International Day of Older Persons was colourful, vibrant and engaging – even if some of us struggled to complete the march from West Port to the DCA. The flesh may be weak, but the spirit is willing.
Our hope is that the successful campaigning we do now will have a positive effect on those who come after us.
State pension levels don’t just affect older people. All generations need a decent state pension in retirement.
Currently, the UK state pension is the least adequate in the developed world.
And since today’s young people will increasingly come to rely on the state pension as one of their main sources of income in retirement, a living pension for all older people in generations to come is of the moment.
My mother had a saying: “What’s afore ye will no go ahent ye”.
Issues that older people face today will be issues faced by young people in the future – unless we campaign to address them now.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with Evening Telegraph newsletter
We were all young and we will all grow old. Hopefully.
What matters is that we spread a little tolerance and kindness along the way. Be good to each other.