Golden Oldies light up TV screens
Published on 23 October 2012 12:01 AM
The reality of being old and poor is laid bare in a beautiful and touching documentary called Golden Oldies on BBC1 tonight.
The film follows three 'golden oldies' around, who share their wisdom, insight and humour, and the tough choices they have to make on a daily basis.
Each of the three stars of the film lives on their own, eking out what little money they have and remaining fiercely independent, determined not to end up in a care home.
- The irrepressible Doris (above), 84, won't let anyone into her home for fear that social services will take it away from her.
- Scouser Frank, 72, still has his fierce wit, but now never sees his family since they emigrated, and is a virtual recluse with no bath or kitchen sink at home.
- Finally there's 84-year-old Kitty, who says that Kate Moss is her style guru.
Nick Poyntz's film is a tender and poignant portrayal of living on a low income in later life and will make you both laugh and cry.
Commenting on the film, Age UK's Charity Director General, Michelle Mitchell, said: 'The reality is that far too many older people are living like this, with 1 in 3 older people saying they are lonely, 1.7 million living below the poverty line and half of all over 75s living with a severe illness.
'The film is a very sad reflection of our society in which many older people are often ignored and neglected. Loneliness has a severe impact on our quality of life in older age, with terrible effects on our physical and mental health.
'Research shows that loneliness has a similar impact on mortality as smoking, and is worse for us than obesity.'
But perhaps the final word should go to one of the film's participants, Doris, who's never short of something to say.
As she puts it: 'Our legs may be gone, but our brains aren't.'
Watch Golden Oldies on Tuesday 23rd October, BBC1 at 10.35pm.