Fascinating Age

I do not believe in fate. But instinct told me not to return to a safe life in the UK after just 4 years in Greece, a month after my husband’s unexpected death.
I’d no job, no income, just a tiny widow’s pension; I’d a rented, picturesque old flat with few conveniences, but the best view in the world, the Acropolis; advice and support of family, friends and neighbours, the Greek social welfare system in action. “As long as I have a bowl of soup, so do you” said my brother in law.
There was no sudden revelation or turning point back in late 80s as I carefully put on a white blouse under my mourning suit of black. Just relief that I had work on a small research project on ageing with my doctor friend Judy. It was the key point of change. I’d never considered ageing as a subject of research or particular interest, I was as ageist as everyone else. But as we interviewed older people I met them as personalities, like my grandmothers. The subject, like age itself, crept up on me as being fascinating. There were research interest rivals – refugees, AIDS and the long term unemployed, but it was ageing and the consequences of ever increasing longevity that was a matter of curiosity and eventual commitment. It became my mission in life.
Intellectually stimulating, leading to the world of policy and policies at national, EU and world level; to older peoples’ NGOs, like the one we helped start 12 year ago, 50plus Hellas. Universally we need to confront the spectacular and marvellous increase in life expectancy and its varied and often unknown consequences, change attitudes, work against widespread ageism and exclusion and the evident indifference of many. I’m a human rights activist now!

About the author
Liz Mestheneos is a UK trained sociologist. She has been busy helping create the first Greek e-library of Gerontology and Geriatrics and continues being active in 50plus Hellas and as an advisor on projects concerned mainly with new technologies and older people.

One thought on “Fascinating Age

  1. Liz Mesteneos is the most positive person I know. Since the first day I met her 14 years ago she has been an inspiration and a role mode on how I want to get older in time! Full of energy, full of ideas, full of knowledge! Thank you Liz just for being you!

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