Never had it so good?
Updated: Oct 1
The Revd Brian Dunlop, working to establish Anna Chaplaincy in Cheltenham, reviews The Age of Ageing Better: A manifesto for our future by Dr Anna Dixon (Green Tree, 2020):
I am tempted to say that this is a book that everyone should read, although some might be wary when they see that it is full of statistics and graphs. I also wish that I had been able to read it in my 30s rather than in my 70s, but in fact it is never too late.
What soon becomes clear, is that if one is a white, well-educated, middle-class female living in a good area, then you may have only lived two-thirds of your life by the time you reach 60. So what are you going to do with the final third and how are you going to pay for it?
Conversely, if you are a black, unschooled, unemployed male living in a deprived area, your life expectance after 60 may be short and plagued by ill health.
What is society going to do about it? Dr Anna Dixon, Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, sets out in detail the sources and challenges of these disparities over most aspects of our lives; from work to leisure, from education to housing; from community to loneliness and from poverty to riches.
In each instance she begins building her case from widely sourced evidence, looks at the consequences of our current position and the likely outcome of present policies and then makes proposals for change, often based on beacons of best practice that she has identified.
She notes the danger, which has been amplified by Covid-19, that this is an issue of young against old and emphasises the need for intergenerational solutions. The church needs to hear many of these messages. I am sending a copy to my bishop for the senior management team to read.
Perhaps you will too!
The Age of Ageing Better: A manifesto for our future, Dr Anna Dixon (Green Tree, 2020), ISBN:TPB978-1-4729-6073-3.