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Wrapping up 2017: Valuing what we have whatever our age at Christmas #AgeUK #joinin

by on December 21, 2017

Our last blog posts of the year has usually been an age at work story with a festive twist.  They’re not always that easy to find. This year we bring you this piece in the Sydney Morning Herald about the role of grandparents in providing child care who might now be looking forward to a break over the festive season. Entitled ‘Grandparents put their feet up after a year of helping the rest of us achieve the impossible‘ it highlights the reliance working parents have on their own parents to look after their children.  The parents are generally working in paid employment whereas most grandparents are providing unpaid childcare. A reminder that childcare is still ‘work’ even if you are not getting paid, and whatever age you are when you undertake it!

The article points out the benefits of such arrangements: “Within our larger communities there are those in the older generation who work hard, generally without payment, for our benefit throughout the year. Many of us rely on the contribution, the kindness, the love of these older members of our community. Yet too often we fail to appropriately include and appreciate them.” Closer to home, this last sentiment has been the message of Age UK’s campaign ‘No one should have no one’.

Meanwhile Sarah Millican will be running her #joinin twitter initiative to alleviate loneliness again on Christmas Day. As she explains to the Huffington Post, this is for those who are on their own at Christmas not through choice: “Be it because they have no family, are estranged from their family, it’s not their turn to have the kids, even just that their partner is at work, whatever. Alone and would rather not be.”  The idea is to use Twitter to connect people who otherwise wouldn’t have anyone to talk to on Christmas Day.

All these stories remind us (whatever our age) that we benefit from the work of others, that valuing what we have is important and that we can contribute to those who may not be so fortunate this year.

We’ll be back in January but in the meantime, Merry Christmas.


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