Media watch

Our pick of age-related stories in the news

Forget the perfect cottage garden – child care beckons

Calling all great-grandparents. Retirement is for pursuing your hobbies and other dreams of selffulfilment, travelling the world, creating the perfect cottage garden or just propping up the bar at the golf club of a lunchtime – correct? Alas, no. According to a report by Butlin’s – yes, the holiday camp for people who seem to have swapped water slides and redcoats for the sociology department – even great-grandparents will, by 2037, be called to help their younger family members with child care and all four family generations will take ‘relation vacations’ together. Can you think of anything nicer than spending your weeks with a brood of squealing toddlers then joining them and their exhausted parents and grandparents for a week in Skegness?

Meanwhile, on Grim Reaper watch, a group including senior NHS managers has warned that older people who can afford to pay their care home fees get lesser protection under human rights legislation than people funded by the council. As a result they are less able to sue if they are victims of neglect. A triumph of muddle-headed thinking and nonsensical bureaucracy.

Finally, yet another discriminatory stereotype about older people has exploded – this time by consumer research experts Mintel: younger people like custard creams more than their grandparents. Some two-thirds of 16 to 24-year-olds disagreed that traditional teatime biscuits are boring, compared with 55 per cent of over-55s, according to a survey. Thank goodness we have got to the bottom of that. It has been bothering me for years. Good to know someone is wrestling with the really important issues of the day.

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