Stop targeting the older generation with your silly surveys

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For the fourth time this year I have been approached, this time by the university medical fraternity in Nottingham, to fill out a survey form based on the idea I that I am part of the elderly of Nottingham.

Leaving aside the fact that I do NOT regard myself as in that category, yet, I am becoming concerned about people of a certain maturity being singled out for this somewhat dubious recognition! Or do they just target retirement organisations in particular!

What is it about universities, research foundations and others that the elderly, or older person, somehow holds the key to some kind of secret inner meaning of life , that they are required to fill out pages and pages of survey forms on the basis of the fact that they have just got older? Which, unless something sad happens to you in early life, is basically what is likely to happen as you go on living.Is there some kind of George Orwell computer in the sky, or perhaps the virtual no man’s land of The Cloud that we all told about to file things in (actually a group of data storage terminals on some industrial estate somewhere) that is dictating about how later life should be? Like all those daytime advertisements about stair lifts and dubious advertisements for equity release, not to mention funeral arrangements (charming!), that you run into when you leave off work. Or a previous local surgery suddenly being concerned about your blood pressure when they haven’t given a toss about it for 15 years. What is it that growing older suddenly triggers off in these situations? Do advertisers and doctors have a panic attack or something?

I questioned the man who gave out the latest survey and I gather it was to do with his own research. Somebody else pointed out that if you did a similar survey on children then you might come up with the same answers, as the questions relate the cheerful subjects of : Loneliness, which, the assumption is, older people suffer from much more than the middle aged or young. Also, getting out and about and the need to be active and whether there is any correlation with both areas, and so and so on...

Allow me to put the researchers right. First of all, loneliness can occur at any age and disposition, not just those in their 60s! Keeping physically active is something that we all need to do in this internet obsessed age. Getting out and about (where physically possible) and, if housebound, broadening the mind with the creative arts of reading, writing, sculpting, drawing and the arts. Things you can do at a desk. These things are not just the province of the elderly, or the over 60s or whatever other definition researchers amuse themselves by putting on the public.

So let us have a little more balanced research and a little less on targeting the older generation with all these silly surveys. Maybe the researchers themselves need to get out more!? Hmm....

Brian George


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