Letter: Grow old gratefully

Sir: You carry yet another article on the negative aspects of ageing ("And now I am old", 22 December). This is certainly more than one too many.

Certainly poverty and ill health prevent many people from enjoying their later life, but many retired people enjoy the freedom from the responsibilities of work and family. Even some with potentially serious illnesses can enjoy themselves as so many treatments are available to keep illness under control.

We have to be a little bit old to become grandparents and enjoy the many new adventures that this brings us. It also gives us an element of immortality to see certain aspects of our own personality pass to future generations.

Becoming a great-grandparent gave my great-grandmother, my grandmother and my mother and father a great deal of pleasure; it is something which I can look forward to with optimism.

MARGARET BEITH

Guilden Sutton,

Cheshire

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