I have always felt that having my research sitting in a thesis on a dusty shelf was a bit of a waste and I have always been determined to publish it as a populist book. I have now even abandoned the thought of publishing articles in appropriate journals they usually have limited circulation and the audience is almost 100% younger people who wouldn’t appreciate the relevance of it.

Currently my thesis is with three examiners, hopefully with intimate knowledge of older people, and not obtained from what other younger researchers have written. There are too many holes in this type of research, all theory and no practice.

Meanwhile I am having a fruitful time putting my research into a book which is aimed at older people themselves, and also pre-aging people. It is so different writing in a more personal style, in which there is no word limit and no longer does each word have to be formal and necessary. What makes it easier is that I am not writing about ‘them’ but about ‘us’ as an older person myself. By continuing my career until the age of 73 I know what is possible because I am doing it myself.

I am continuing to read the latest books about brain plasticity and how increasingly important this is to older people. The old ‘use it or lose it’ saying has now been amended to ‘use it as much as possible’. With an anticipated 1.13 million Australians predicted to have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050 a scary picture is presented. One author pointed out that we have got ourselves into an unacceptable predicament and we need to work towards extending brain health to that of life expectancy. I still feel that research into Alzheimer’s disease focusses on finding a cure, not prevention. This is cynically tied in with the fact that the organisations doing the research are all medical people who can’t look outside the square, nor does their careers support a non-medical prevention approach.

We are in the midst of an election in Australia. It really saddens me that neither party has announced a policy on our Aboriginal people, in spite of world condemnation of our treatment of them. Presumably the politicians don’t feel that their votes are worth chasing.

Since the voice of older people is only heard through the young people employed by the major senior organisations, the situation as regards this section of the population is much easier, although the policies are often irrelevant as far as genuine older people are concerned.

I hope I can find an international publisher for my book as I think its relevance stretches beyond Australia.

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