Let me introduce ourselves – we’re Suzanne Noble and Rose Rouse, a serial entrepreneur and a journalist – who created Advantages of Age out of a conversation in a hot tub in 2016 about how we didn’t like how we were being depicted in the media as we got older.
Advantages of Age is a social enterprise where we passionately challenge the prevailing negative stereotypes around ageing. No, we’re not all grandmothers or grandfathers, some of us are over 50, single and childless. Others of us don’t wish to be defined by our children’s children. We are writers, filmmakers, press officers, death doulas, psychotherapists, and so much more. We are not all retired.
The Sunday Times’ Style magazine described us as ‘the punks of getting older’.Sunday Times Style Magazine
We have a FB group, Advantages of Age, Baby-Boomers and Beyond – over 4,000 members – where there are lively, personal, considered, engaging debates about everything from the future of care homes, tips on thrifty living, Grace Jones at 74, how we’d like to live now we’re older, whether we’d garden naked, climate justice and Bjork’s new album Fossora.
This website is packed full of inspirational articles – from prize-winning writers to emerging voices. What it’s like to have a rich life when you live alone and are over 50, how it is to move to Italy or Spain, what a Living Apart Together Relationship looks like when you are in your late 60s, the healing powers of walking down the river, how resourceful you can be in a lockdown at 84 and on your own, still climbing after a heart attack at 75 and many more. We encourage our members to write about aspects of their lives that we might not know about and will no doubt be inspired by.
We organise events from parties to picnics, poetry evenings, walks around cemeteries with a psychogeographer, to a trip to see a member in Portsmouth. It’s great when AofA members offer to host us in this way. We’re all about creating an AofA community. Several members are DJs and invite us to where they’re playing.
We are older people who are reclaiming the ‘old’. Old for us is vibrant, creative and full of sass – it’s an attitude. However, we’re not relentlessly positive; we are old enough to admit our vulnerabilities and know we can be compassionate to each other.
We are oldsters who will not be put in a box!! Not at the moment, anyway.