This year I didn’t see any OAP’s (Old Age Pensioners) dancing in the street or setting off fireworks to congratulate themselves on their magnificent lives and their so-called “contribution to society”! There were no flags, bunting or bands playing.
I bet most of them were be at home –over three million, if the Conservatives are correct- living in poverty, pulling on an extra cardigan and working out how to make ends meet this coming winter, as the nights draw in and it gets colder and the heating costs go up yet again.
They sit at home, trying to keep warm over a tiny electric heater, counting the escalating cost of food and other essentials of life. Or slumped in armchairs in poorly run state care homes crying out for proper regulation, lying on trolleys in hospital corridors or slowly starving in mixed sex filthy wards
To add insult to injury to a generation stripped of their dignity, a PR company behind the publicity for the OAP’s ‘special day’ have insisted that organisations use photos of older people who looked affluent and in the peak of health, such as those living in the luxury of high-class retirement homes. Models who look more in their 30’s and 40’s have been used, shown them cuddling, running happily on the beach, on holiday cruises or preparing for a workout at the gym.
There are no photos of the elderly in armchairs, care homes, filthy hospitals, fighting for lost pensions, and working until they are 80 to supplement their meagre state pension. No photos of them huddled over a one-bar electric fire with a hot water bottle. There is nothing in the publicity handouts to depict the true picture of old age for some in Britain today.
Pensioners are so desperate to keep warm, eat decent food and pay their bills that they take out loans they have no chance of repaying. In debt and under stress when they are over 65 is hardly a great advert for being old in this country. According to government statistics pensioners in Britain owe a staggering £57 billion! More that a million still have a mortgage to pay, with one in seven owing more that £50,000 and can’t get state aid to help them.
Constantly rising interest rates, loans for food and essentials, fuel (on 1st October, “UK Older People’s Day”, last year petrol went up to £1 a litre and is still rising this year) and Council Tax bills and the realisation that they can’t rely on their savings alone -if they have any left- because of the State pension crisis. Those who made provision for their old age might as well not have done because they are dire straits now.
Not all OAP’s are SKIs –“Spending their Kids’ Inheritance”- and playing golf. After a lifetime’s hard graft, paying their taxes, contributing to a pension scheme, they are now scrimping and scraping and spending every penny –and more- on necessities. It’s a case of not what they want, but what they need to survive
Summing up, a day to celebrate old age is an insult to those who have nothing to celebrate. So many feel forgotten, scorned, neglected and disillusioned. Hardly the way to see out a decent, hardworking life.
It’s a disgrace that in the 21st century, with so much of the taxpayers money needlessly squandered on pointless projects, PR campaigns and spin, that the very people who should be looking after their older generation are lining their own pockets with high wages, expenses and allowances.
I didn't celebrate on October 1st and if others like me saw the nonsense of this so-called special day then they obviouly didn't either.