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Oct 23

Don’t just sit there, it’s the second half of your life!

Reading Time: 3 mins

A 50+ charity could inspire you to enrich your life and even others

Feeling unexcited at the thought of growing older, and that doesn’t mean graduating from 39 to 40?

There is a book that might be worth dipping into, The Second Half of Your Life by Jill Shaw Ruddock.  She wrote it in 2011 and it has a following.

The book looks at growing older from the woman’s perspective, what comes after the menopause – which she sees as a beginning. Ruddock thinks age is a case of ‘rebranding’.

Growing older does merit some thought, no one can say it is a happy prospect and yet none of us can avoid it.

All credit to her for fighting the incoming tide, because in 2012 with financial backing from her family and other philanthropists, she set up the Second Half Centre in north Kensington, designed to help lonesome Londoners aged 50+ of both sexes.

Ex-banker Jill S Ruddock, 50+, is a feisty American,  wife, mother of two, and full of get up and get something done. She takes a ‘can do’ positive stance to getting older.

Of course it’s easier to be positive if you are a multi-millionaire (her husband is a successful hedge fund manager), and you are one of London’s great and the good, living in Notting Hill, west London.

The Centre offers free membership to Londoners heading for retirement and beyond and in need of a busier lifestyle. It has loads of classes, workshops, events and outings – a sort of up-market council community centre, but with, no doubt, much more.

It seems the Centre is thriving and the plan is to open many more. Ruddock is a good example of what can be done, particularly for those who are growing older and are aware that their ‘community’ could reach out more, whether in the city or the country.

Ruddock’s wealth helped of course, but she is the sort of female power house who could probably have made things improve in North Kensington anyway.  I think she is the type who would be happy to help others planning a local initiative.

Saga (the 50+ empire) research has found that UK 50+ spending on cruises should increase by 43 per cent to £2.2 billion by 2020, compared with just £1.65 billion spent in 2014 – out of a total  UK 50+ spend of £41 billion a year on travel and tourism.

Saga Cruises has ordered a new cruise ship to be launched in 2019. The number of passengers will be limited to 1,000 so the holiday doesn’t become too impersonal and every cabin is to have a balcony.

Whew, that’ll be a lot of dinners at the Captain’s table.

The Saga share price, after a disappointing launch in 2014 at 185p, is now comfortably above the £2 mark.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists want to draw attention to the fact that people falling over are not just frail, older types, and that it is never too early, and certainly at 50+, to consider exercises to improve muscle strength and balance.

The CSP says it is important that the NHS “provides access to prevention services for anyone deemed to be at risk.”

The CSP thinks that tailored exercise could prevent over 225,000 falls a year, saving the NHS more than £330 million.

I have a friend in her 80s.  She is disabled by  arthritis and falls over regularly. Thanks to strong bones she hasn’t broken a hip yet.  Sadly, she is a little  too old to have benefited from a growing awareness of  the use of  exercise and balance classes to combat a fall.  Take action, get ahead.







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