Today we launch “Our Voices” a report based on focus groups and interviews with people ageing without children. The aim of the report is to give space to the thoughts, ideas and feelings of people ageing without children and as such there is one key message.

That message is; please listen and then reflect on those thoughts, ideas and feelings and don’t dismiss them out of hand.

Its still the case that we go to meetings to talk about what we do and before we’ve even spoken, people say “oh most people don’t look after their parents these days” or “most people put their parents into homes these days”. Actually neither of those things are true but even if they were, why dismiss what we have to say without even listening?

My favourite is till the politician who interrupted me telling them about how not all older people are grandparents to say “oooh i would have thought having no grandchildren is an advantage” and then went on to relate a humble brag anecdote about their grandchild. They clearly hadn’t listened to a word I had said.

The main theme from todays report is a feeling of invisibility, of feelings being dismissed and lives judged without people stopping to think.

so please do read our voices but before you respond….stop and think