A word of (good) advice about positive ageing
THE top of the list of getting older for dementia awareness campaigner Sue Pieters-Hawke is living life to the fullest extent and doing it, at least a little bit, outrageously.
"I hope to be able to maintain capacities for independence, mobility and self-determination for as long as I can, access good medical care if and when I need it because ageing is a risk for different medical issues, remain active in society, in friendships and my family and remain able to contribute," Sue, 61, said.
"One of the awful things about ageism is tends to shut people out of being part of things. I don't like that idea. That's one of the reasons I am very active in the whole area of positive ageing and supporting campaigns against aged-based discrimination.
"Our older people have such a wealth of experience and care for others and care for the community and things that they can contribute and want to contribute as they get age. The thought of being rendered invisible or not worthy or not capable is really disturbing. It is what happens around us every day."
In recent years Sue has become very active in the positive ageing space, including working with the Benevolent Society on it's ageism EveryAGE Counts campaign which will be launched later this year.
She cheekily threatens us with the idea of getting a mobility aid, painting it bright purple and with lots of sparkle.
"I know I will die at some point. I hope it isn't too painful, to drawn out," Sue said.
"We can't say we wish it won't happen, because it will, but with good social environments and medical care, ageing doesn't have to be a terrible time. Some of that is personal responsibility like doing our best to remain active and do what we can to remain healthy."