Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stories about ageing around the world

This is not really a blog posting about marketing but it does provide an insight into the mind of older people around the globe. The BBC’s World Service had an excellent series of interviews about different aspects of ageing; some sad, some liberating.

I didn’t know there is a Danish organisation called DaneAge that has approximately 542,000 members (27% of all Danes aged 50+). That is incredible.

I had never heard of the Gray Panthers and the Granny Peace Brigade. From a quick look at their web sites and listening to their spokesperson, they sound very worthy groups with their origins, I suspect, back in the early days of the 1960s and that went with that.

The saddest and most surprising item is about Japan. It appears that some older people have been left feeling isolated, unwanted and impoverished and as a result crime rates among the older generation is increasing. Last year more than 31,000 elderly people were convicted of theft. There has been a five fold increase in over-65s crime even though the older population has only doubled.

40% of older people live alone and 53% say they have no friends. Taking goods from their local supermarket is thought to give them an opportunity to talk to somebody, even the security guard. In most instances they given a warning and not prosecuted.

The next time somebody tells you that the East is nothing like the West, because of the way it reveres the old you can tell them about this story. Dick Stroud

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