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for pastures new elsewhere, our sight and mobility deteriorate, new health problems manifest themselves and we become more and more reliant on someone else.


It is commendable that health authorities have decided to leave older people in their own homes for as long as possible but this cannot be without full back-up support. A visit morning and night is not what they need; being left alone for the rest of the day with no stimulation leads to depression and, even worse, a spell back in hospital - defeating the object of cutting costs. Sitting watching television all day is not an alternative to personal contact.


The number of over 85s in the United Kingdom is set to double in the next 20 years and nearly treble in the next 30 years. If we are being honest here in Jersey we must admit that we were not prepared for this ageing


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population bulge and we need to plan for a change in society to include older people who have given so much to this Island and now get so little in return.


It is up to us all in this community of Jersey, to involve older people and make them feel wanted, needed and, yes, loved. If you look in the Charity Shops you will find they are run mostly by older people. If you look at religion it is mostly the older people who attend services. Many grandparents look after their grandchildren to allow their parents to go out to work (a must for many in this day and age). No, we are not just sitting back but contributing to society in so many ways. But, there are many housebound older people who would value a trip to the shops, a car ride in the sunshine to look again at our lovely countryside and bays or even given the opportunity to be taken shopping. One older lady who had been taken to the shops for the first time after a long while commented: ‘I had no idea they still made Bird's Custard. That made my day - better than a trip to the cinema!’ Something small to most of us but a big deal for her.


There are many opportunities for retired people these days, with travel being the main one. Although expensive we are


Page 8 An Ageing Island


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