age is just a number

awareness acknowledgement acceptance action

The age buster read

In a society that values youth as the only desirable condition, The Age Buster decodes what we think about growing old.

Here you can find ideas and stories to discover the yang-side of aging.

Because of (not despite) our age.

Overage drinking
Heavy drinking by older people is on the rise in the UK, yet the issue often falls below the radar. Over 60s are drinking more and more harmfully, with one in three developing problems with alcohol for the first time in later life. This is a sad story of a father who developed alcoholism in his 70s while caring for his wife, who had alcoholism-related dementia. Despite his background as a doctor and his long experience of witnessing his wife’s alcoholism, he was unable to rehabilitate himself.
audio 40mins


Esther Rantzen talks about loneliness video 1.59 mins
Lonely in Lagos
Poet and journalist Wana Udobang travels round her home city, Lagos, speaking to people who are lonely and isolated in Africa’s most populous city. She meets a young gay man who opens up about his feelings of isolation in the light of strict laws on homosexuality, meets a group of displaced women who are coming together to combat loneliness in poverty, and visits a cycling club and an elderly community centre. World Service the documentary podcast
audio 50.38 mins
tackling loneliness silver line video 2.31 video
Tackling loneliness
A team in Frome UK has implemented a handful of simple ideas – getting people to talk about the problems they face and finding ways for them to re-engage with family, friends or social clubs – and they believe it is having a dramatic effect. People fixing the world
audio 23 mins
Meet the neighbours
People living in this block of flats sign a contract to socialise together for at least two hours a week. People fixing the world audio 24 mins
A life alone
A touching exploration of loneliness told through a conversation with one woman a 94 year old aunt, Diana. World service the documentary
audio 27 mins
Arm chair Gallery App
Discover play & create with your favourite artists. Including artworks and artefacts from a vast array of collections.
Colour a Canaletto, create your own Hepworth, take a selfie with Lowry and much, much more…
The app includes instructions for doing tried-and-tested creative activities with the people you care for.
Activity video explanation 2 mins
House of Memories App
Easy to use
My House of Memories app allows you to explore objects from the past and share memories together. It can be used by anyone but has been designed for and with people living with dementia and their carers.
Activity video explanation 3 mins
The Blue Zones Project
Uses lessons learned from five areas of the world with the highest population over the age of 100. What are their daily habits? World service people fixing the world
audio 23 mins
How to build a city for an ageing population World service
People fixing the world
audio 23 mins

Three clever ideas that help improve the day-to-day lives of people with dementia World service people fixing audio 23 mins

Five photos reminiscence project by National Archives
an online resource designed to encourage people to engage creatively with their collections. It aims to provide a mindful, social or reminiscence-based activity designed yet not exclusively for those shielding or in care home settings.
five photos guide for helpers
on line activity

‘Old age is not a disease it is strength and survivorship. Triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments trials and illness’ Maggie Kahn
Seeing is Believing
Association for Dementia Studies Namaste Care
video 22 mins
Ageing with grace
The Nun Study is a ground-breaking longitudinal study into Alzheimer’s disease. It was the beginning of a study which experts still consider to be one of the most innovative efforts to answer questions about who gets Alzheimer’s disease and why. World service Heart & Soul
audio 27 mins
Celebrating Life at 117
This is an affectionate portrait of Elizabeth Gathoni Koinange – a woman who celebrated her 117th birthday last year. Her story, and that of her family, is told by Elizabeth’s own great granddaughter Priscilla Ng’ethe. The joy of family life is captured when many generations come together. World service The Documentary podcast
audio 27 min
Solving Alzheimer’s
Fear and Stigma
Part one
In this first episode of the series, we explore how fear in some parts of the world is stigmatising those who have it, and denying help to those who need it. But also how to overcome the fear
The Documentary podcast
audio 27 min
Solving Alzheimer’s
The Trillion Dollar Disease
Part two
We travel to South Korea, the fastest ageing country in the world, where the country’s president has declared the challenge of Alzheimer’s to be a national crisis. We meet families struggling to look after loved ones with Alzheimer’s and question whether countries in both the developed and developing world can afford to provide care for patients. We also visit the Netherlands, where an innovative approach to Alzheimer’s care offers hope for the future.
The Documentary podcast
audio 27 min
Solving Alzheimer’s
Living and Dying with Alzheimer’s
Part Three
In the final episode of this three-part series we explore the difficult choices people have to make. In the Netherlands, people with dementia can legally chose euthanasia but the debate is going back and forth there. When can dementia patients consent to euthanasia? The answer it turns out is ethically very complicated But if we didn’t fear Alzheimer’s so much, couldn’t we find ways to live a happy, fulfilled life even with dementia? We travel to South Korea and the UK to hear from some of the most promising initiatives; and how a dementia friendly society is possible T
he Documentary podcast
audio 27 min

helping a loved one pass over

The holistic and spiritual care of the dying Felicity discusses her book
video 2.50 mins
Quaker Down to Earth Practical support with funeral costs

Dutch ‘living coffin’ aims to provide source for life after death Loop Cocoon casket is made of mycelium, the underground root structure of mushrooms.

‘living coffin’ made of a fungus instead of wood says can convert a decomposing human body into key nutrients for plants’

Mycelium is nature’s biggest recycler read more here

Helping a loved one pass over part one
video 14.10 mins
Helping a loved one pass over part two video 18.52 mins
Helping a loved one pass over part three a mystic metaphysical approach
video 21.44 mins

Friendship benches The “grandma benches”
Lucia is one of the 700 grandmothers in the country turning the nation around. She sits on a wooden bench using a gentle form of cognitive behavioural or talking therapy with her community. This is one of 250 Friendship Benches set up by Zimbabwean psychiatrist Dr Dixon Chibanda, who believed that after a few weeks of simple training, grandmothers could become lay health workers for their communities. Lucia has the time, wisdom and respect to help the people who come to her. She understands them and has direct experience of their problems.World Service The documentary
audio 27 mins
Hashtag granny wisdom Young stars of social media share lessons in life from their grandmothers. What happens when the youth-dominated, image-obsessed world of social media gets a dose of hard-learnt life-advice from older women?
World Service the documentary
audio 27 mins

The grannies against the far right
They were just children when Adolf Hitler’s rule came to an end but they will never forget the horrors the Nazis inflicted on their families. A group of Austrian grandmothers is determined not to let younger generations forget about the dangers of far-right ideologies. As right-wing populism spreads across Europe, they feel their warnings are now more pressing than ever. “Omas Gegen Rechts” (or “Grannies Against the Right”) started as a small Facebook group and has rapidly grown into a protest movement with branches in Austria, Germany, and Italy. The grannies say they want to prevent history from repeating itself. World Service Trending
audio 22 mins

Age-ing to Sage-ing Rabbi Salman video 1.45 mins
From Age-ing to Sage-ing
A revolutionary approach to growing older by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ronald S Miller
Snow White and the Seven Signs of Ageing
Snow White is one of the darkest fairytales in the canon.It describes the fury of an ageing woman, who looks into her mirror to discover her beauty has been surpassed. In many early versions, the Wicked Queen is Snow White’s mother, not stepmother, driven mad by her daughter’s beauty. She demands her young rival’s heart on a plate, then salts and eats it with greedy delight.Writer Cathy FitzGerald wants to rescue the Queen from the mirror’s spell and discover more productive ways to deal with grey hairs and crow’s feet.
world service the documentary podcast audio 27 mins

Forever Young In 2015
Liz Parrish performed a risky experiment – on herself. She took a gene therapy entirely untested on humans in the hope of “curing” what she says is a disease: ageing. Her gamble was criticised by some in the scientific community, but she is not the only one that thinks scientific advances will help humans live longer healthier lives.World Service The documentary podcast
audio 27 mins
Japan: New Ways to Grow Old – Part One
Japan has the fastest ageing society in the world with more than a quarter of its population over the age of 65. It currently has 66,000 centenarians, more than any other country. Baby boomers born after World War Two, are overturning stereotypes about old age and how businesses are responding to these more demanding silver consumers. She visits Japan’s first supermarket built specifically to serve older shoppers which offers everything from crystal-studded walking sticks to try-before-you-buy coffin experiences.
World Service The documentary podcast
audio 30 mins
Japan: New Ways to Grow Old Part Two
Could living in a home designed to deliberately demand more effort from you each day help you stay fitter and more alert in your later years? And could people living with dementia be better integrated in the community through work? Aki Maruyama Leggett examines some of the novel ideas for senior housing and social care emerging in Japan.World Service The documentary podcast
audio 30 mins
Japan’s Elderly Crime Wave
Elderly pensioners in Japan are committing petty crimes so that they can be sent to prison. One in five of all prisoners in Japan are now over 65. The number has quadrupled in the last two decades, a result it seems of rising elderly poverty and loneliness, as seniors become increasingly cut-off from their over-worked offspring. In jail old people at least get a bed, a routine and a hot meal, and for many, as Ed discovers, the outside world can seem like a threatening place. For the prison authorities it means an increasingly ageing population behind bars and the challenges of dealing with a range of geriatric health issues The documentary podcast
audio 30 mins
The coffin club
In 2010, Katie Williams – a former palliative care nurse – started the first Coffin Club in her garage. The idea was that elderly New Zealanders would come together to sand, assemble and decorate their own coffins. Word got around and now – nearly a decade later – The Coffin Club, Rotorua, is a huge success and has inspired spin-offs around the world. World service the documentary podcast
audio 28 mins
University of the third age
What is the university of the third age?
Funeral punks
A new wave of end of life rituals is emerging across northern England. As funeral costs increase, the influence of the traditional undertaker is declining. Communities are building pyramids containing their dead loved one’s ashes and a growing number of people are choosing to organise their own bespoke events. world service the documentary podcast audio 27 mins
The real marigold hotel
The couple hit on the idea of establishing their own kind of ‘Marigold Hotel,’ which would give retired volunteers the chance to spend weeks at a time helping Adivasi villagers on a whole range of different projects, from gardening and bee keeping, through to teaching and innovation hubs. In 2017 they started building the PLENTI guest house and over the next couple of years a steady stream of UK volunteers have used their skills and interests to help in different ways. The youngest volunteer was 52, and the oldest was in his 80’s, with people bonding in the evenings over meals and shared stories of their adventures. BBC Sounds R4 Untold audio 27 mins