Labelling older people

 

Sir, – Kathy Sheridan has raised very important issues about the lives of people over 70 (“Let the over-70s have a walk”, Opinion & Analysis, April 15th).

Credit is due to so many people of all ages and all walks of life at this time in our challenged world. However, it is important for all of us to keep a watchful eye to the future. How easy it will be or could become to put people over 70 on the “scrapheap”. Convenient labels do crop up with each crisis. “Bed-blocker” in the recent past is an example.

Women and men over 70 contribute to the life of this country in so many ways, like those who have gone before them. Their continuing commitment, expertise and wisdom should not be ignored, rather used to inspire confidence in the younger generation. The young people in our country need lots of encouragement and confidence to know that all will be well. When the Covid-19 crisis ends, and it will, we must ensure that people over 70 are not seen as victims but people entitled to be treated with equal respect and dignity.

Incidentally, people over 70 are often reminded that they are the new 50 when it is convenient. At this time, being allowed to walk for one hour would go some way to ensure that people are not made to feel like prisoners in their own home.

Labels do have a habit of sticking! – Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.