Ageism - unfortunately is all part of the 'lookism' that crept up while we weren't
looking.  It's as hard to wipe out as racism, body fascism and the ‘ism’ that makes the
disabled and mentally handicapped invisible. There is an intolerance of anyone who doesn't
fit the template of the youthful-looking or the energetic.  Zimmer frames & walking sticks
are now a joke. Ha, ha. And how inconvenient wheelchairs have become? Achieving
wheelchair access used to be a priority, now it's an expense we can't afford. There
were complaints at a concert in London over the occupants of wheelchairs who made
a slight noise.

Help the Aged and Age Concern seem to have taken over what used to be the responsibility
of the local council.  If you want a home help, or any assistance due to old age, we are given
the number of the charities. An attendance allowance is money given to the infirm after
filling out a vast and complicated form - and we are then left to organise our own nursing or
domestic assistance. Elderly people have turned into a growing source of fat profits for
private companies. 'Nursing Homes' compete for their staff with McDonalds and Pizza Hut.

Nobody finds the elderly at all attractive - unless it's your own grandma of course. Nobody finds the
handicapped attractive either so they are hidden from sight  - just like the elderly who are seated
round the television and dosed with soporifics.

Taking care of the carers is nobodies responsibility either - who cares about the mother who is squashed
in the middle of raising her own teenagers, being wife to a husband and looking after bedridden elders -
having given up paid work to do it. Who cares?

I would suggest the councils' bring back the Home Help. (I would bring back conductors on buses
but that's another battle).  The government must undo the revenge Mrs. Thatcher wreaked on local
governments because Alderman Roberts was voted out of the council and had his heart broken.
Local Government has been punished enough. What we need is more money for day nurseries
at one end of citizen's lives and well-run places for those of us who need care when we are elderly.
Many of us provided the boroughs with council taxpayers that we raised free of charge while we
paid rates and taxes. We deserve some return on this investment.

Mary.