The el­derly to­day

The Church of England - - Letters - Canon Alan Pug­mire, Manch­ester

Sir, Your ar­ti­cles on ‘Car­ing for the El­derly’ (16 May) view the el­derly as poor, lonely, rather de­crepit people who need to be looked af­ter by car­ing people and or­gan­i­sa­tions. As your fig­ures sug­gest that may be true of some.

But many el­derly are still very ac­tive and of­ten the core work­ers in churches and vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tions. Oth­ers are still fit enough to join that ac­tive group, but may need guid­ance on how to do so.

No ref­er­ence was made to one of the fastest grow­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions in the UK. In the Univer­sity of the Third Age with over 300,000 mem­bers in 900 groups “the teach­ers learn and the learn­ers teach”.

In­ter­est groups in each U3A are led by mem­bers for mem­bers us­ing their skills and cover al­most ev­ery sub­ject you can imag­ine. For the re­tired and semi-re­tired it is a good place to cre­ate friend­ships as well as learn.

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