Live the life you want to live – inspiring older Australians

Across the globe, people over the age of 60 are increasing in numbers more than any other age group. In Australia, the over 65 year olds will outnumber the under 15 year olds by 2030and this will be a first in Australia.

We are an ageing population, globally and locally. We are living longer – call it natural evolution or science keeping us alive for longer. Either way, if we are going to be sticking around longer than our ancestors, then our paradigms with regards to getting older need to change.

In 1969, the average life expectancy of an Australian was 70 years old. Today it is 82, that is another 12 years we now have to keep ourselves busy! This is a long stretch of time to get productive and create something new, all we need is a little bit of creative thinking, encouragement, and a willingness to take the first step. What better way to do this than to have a look at some role models from our own shores.

Maggie Beer

Maggie Beer began her food empire in 1979 with her husband. She is a cook, food author, restaurateur, and food manufacturer of many delicious epicurean delights we enjoy today, and at 74 she is still committed to her work. In 2014, she established the Maggie Beer Foundation which is dedicated to improving the quality of food for older Australians, especially those living in aged care facilities. As she says, “…Food is nutrition not just for the body, but also for the soul. It’s what fires our appetite for life, no matter what age.”

The foundation achieves its purpose through education and programs for chefs, CEO’s and people involved with providing food to older Australians.

Ita Buttrose

One of our favourite Aussie icons Ita Buttrose is now 77 years old and still going strong. Her illustrious career started as founding editor of Cleo in 1972. At 71 years of age she joined Network 10 to host a morning program with Joe Hilderband, Sarah Harris, Denise Drysdale and Jessica Rowe.

As she says, planning is the key to growing older successfully and that getting older is not the end of the world but a time to embrace life to the fullest.

“Not surprisingly most of us want to age in place and stay in our own homes. For some that just isn’t possible but most of us, if we plan ahead, can achieve this particular goal although sometimes we might need a helping hand.”

Maggie Tabberer

Another Aussie icon who is now 82 years old and worked well into her 70’s growing the Maggie T fashion line. She was also pulled out of retirement to do a photo shoot for her beloved Australian Women’s Weekly when she was 75.

On women and traditional views about ageing she says "…all that has shifted, thankfully, and they (women) can be anything they want to be. And that's a wonderful freedom."

Graham Ross

With a career in gardening spanning more than 40 years, Graham Ross is a horticulturist, author and TV presenter. At 72 years of age, he has spent most of his public career at Channel Seven presenting over 900 episodes of Better Homes and Gardens.

On ageing gracefully, he says “It’s really critical for over-60s in this country to not think that they shut down. The retirement is the beginning, not the end, it’s the beginning of a whole new life experience. Gardening is one of those things you can pick up at 60 too.”

And an inspiring older person from abroad (USA) - Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel is a model at 97, with a signed modelling contract at IMG models and in demand. You can follow her Facebook page here.

The president of IMG models says “At 97 years old, Iris continues to prove that age is just a number and shouldn’t be something that defines you.”

In Iris’s words “"Maybe I was ahead of the game, and people caught up with me."

It is never too late and you are never too old to find passion and purpose

Call St Louis Home Care in Adelaide on 8332 0950, or St Louis Home Care Victor Harbor on 8552 1481 today. As Ita says, planning is key to growing older successfully and maybe you just need a helping hand. Start planning for your home care today. We are here to help you live the life you want to live with passion and purpose.

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