It is never too late. There are lots of strength training programmes now and many are based on decent research to show the benefits of strength training for older people. Not all of them are gym centred. Some are chair exercise classes and others are strength training around simple props like the stretchy bands. It makes a difference. It means older people are taking control of their health.It means they are stronger and more mobile. They are more comfortable walking around and doing their daily tasks and some are even participating in marathons and high level sporting activities. The research being done has provided solid information as to the benefits but it has also looked at the best ways to help older people engage in strength training. COTA is one of the organisations which offers strength training classes for older people. Older people need to keep their muscle tone and bone density. They need to keep their flexibility and balance. All these things are achievable with help and proper guidance and it is making life for older people more independent and positive.
For me, Carrie Fisher will always be the one who would front up with the tough stuff in life and normalise it. She always had the knack of being able to talk about difficult things but just say them so everyone would realise they are a part of life and living and need to be dealt with. She was a princess but not of the sugar plum, prissy sort. This interview covers a lot of ground in a short time and reveals how adept Carrie Fisher is in dealing with body image issues, female actor issues, growing up , being a working woman and …just talking about it. Just patting her dog and talking about it. She has had an impact on how women see themselves and she has enabled those conversations which have helped modern women redefine who they are and what they can do. She will be remembered for her social justice gems because she was so direct and straight forward in her approach.
Yet another example of age being a mirage.Older people are repackaging themselves and redesigning their purpose in life. Deshun Wang expresses it beautifully : he has spent his whole life preparing for this. Stereotyping is restrictive and constrictive for anyone and any group. It is great to see older people just being and if they are the ones who will free us of ageism then they are serving a great purpose in life.
Why shouldn’t here be a song about Slough as there are songs about New York, Paris, Chicago? There are films about the Snowy River, Paris, Seattle. Why not Slough? Why don’t North American Indians call themselves pelican names when they are happy with Sitting Bull, Hawkeye, Lone Wolf? Why can’t people have mental legs as they do a mental head? Why do we think one person is weird and another one is okay? Why shouldn’t we have songs about anything we like? The French make songs about cucumbers, run away dogs, picnics, voyeurs, cigarettes. I didn’t know what I was going to get when I went to see David Brent. I just knew I liked Ricky Gervais and what he stood for. I know he is a complex thinker and can fight effectively for animal rights. I know I liked The Office .The film is set in and around Slough, Berkshire where Ricky Gervais was born. The humour is British and I had some really good laughs throughout the film. It’s a complex film, though, and not to be given a post modern reading. You listen to the song lyrics, you know the actor is being a character you know who is then reflecting on that character. The film questions how we define normality and how we define mental illness. It clearly examines how mental illness is not a disease, it’s not an illness as such, but a person with hopes, thoughts, dreams, relationships and more than anything, feelings. A person is not this bit or that bit but a collection of traits, experiences and thoughts and is a whole . It’s a Gestalt reading of human behaviour. We are not our fatness or thinness or our job or the clothes we put on. We are all sorts of things and some of those things are transient, some of them are determined as acceptable by the norms of society. He questions political correctness, body image, language usage, content of popular culture, work place expectations. It is a film which puts everything under a lens but not in an arduous way. It’s thought provoking and it makes you wonder. If you are familiar with people with mental illness there is a lot which you can relate to. You could even be asking yourself well, maybe it’s not right to call someone that when all they are is a square peg in a round hole. Who are we to put down and judge? Where did we get the parameters from to judge them? You don’t ask yourself that, though. You look at the film and realise people are people and they are all on the road of life trying to get somewhere and trying to do their best at getting there. I really enjoyed this film and I am glad I went to see it. It will be one of my favourite films. I need to think about it some more!