I don't want to think about this subject—who amongst us does? But at the age of 71, I'm in the perfect position to state the case for my cohabiters in England.
At the moment, ten million people are over 65. Figures from the Office for National Statistics forecast a fifty percent rise in that number and a doubling in over-85s between 2010 and 2030.
A Lords committee on public service and demographic change has found the UK to be woefully underprepared for the social and economic challenges presented by an ageing society. The government's policy is to support people in later life. However, changes need to be made in health care, pensions and employment practices. For instance, the old could care for the very old.
Already, my 74-year-old husband is looking after me. Born and raised during WW2 in London right beside Michael Cain, he ate the healthy diet recommended during the rationing period. Gardens were converted into patches from which fresh vegetables were eaten. Even the hated powdered eggs were excellent for health. People back then had no luxuries—no fast food. Now, the war babies are healthy and strong.
I lived in Australia until the age of 45, when I arrived in England and experienced what some call the nanny state of the National Health. All health care is free, paid for by contributions from every working individual's wage. This probably raises a welcome flag to the constant migrants who flock to the little island's shores. I must stress that I worked for over 20 years and that Australia supplies some of my pension so I'm not a burden to the country's resources.
How long can I expect to live? That's a difficult question to answer. It could be another twenty years. I'll go on writing novels, blogs, and interacting with my online peers until that time arrives.
With the role models of these actors who have all performed in the James Bond movies to look up to, we should continue to contribute to society well into our latter years.
Will a similar forecast apply to the young of today with their unhealthy style of living?