This month JRF has launched a new site which offers glimpses into what life’s like for older people with high support needs.
The site includes a new poem by former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion inspired by the stories of older people. It celebrates old age with stunning photography by award-winning Jo Hanley and portraits of centenarians by leading UK photographer Chris Steele-Perkins.
The site was commissioned by JRF as part of its research programme A Better Life, which encourages people to think differently about getting older by listening to the voices of experience. It was built around perspectives on growing old by a range of older people and includes the stories and experiences of:
- Older people with learning disabilities
- Older lesbians, gay men and bisexuals
- South Asian Elders
- People living with dementia
- Gypsy Elders
Speaking about the poem, Sir Andrew commented:
“I created this poem as a collage – it’s made of scraps taken from interviews, things I’ve overheard, things I’ve invented. The idea was to create a portrait of age which is at once fragmentary (because everyone’s experience is unique to themselves) and unified (because ageing involves sharing certain things in common). I hope the result is realistic about the difficulties posed by time and the passing of time, and yet also celebratory of certain experiences that time allows – the richness of memory, the sense of a narrative shape within a life.”
You can view the website here: http://www.jrf.org.uk/betterlife