Do I seem doddery to you?
At 69 I find people patronise you. This guy stopped for me in the street and said, "Come on young lady." Someone else asked me, "Do you want a hand over the road?" Sometimes I think everyone thinks you’ve got dementia when you get to a certain age. I’m quite trendy for my age so I feel more patronised than discriminated against. I recently told someone I’d seen The Beatles and people react with this surprise that they don’t expect you to like pop music.
They expect you to be sitting in a corner knitting. People look at me shocked and surprised. I must look like a doddery old lady.
The invisible woman
Over the phone I find my partner is taken more seriously than me. I had a problem with my energy supplier when I moved house and wanted to go back to my old provider and they were so snotty with me, my partner said, ‘Let me handle it.’ He took the phone and sorted it out.
I have tried to deal with many issues over the phone. My partner only has to say one or two sentences over the phone and they just seem to respect him more.
We had to deal with my landlord when I moved house in a blizzard earlier this year. I asked him, "How are we expected to get the keys to you with all the roads shut?" He was raising Cain with me and not listening. My partner got on the phone and he changed his tune straightaway, probably because I’m old as well.
Where I lived last, the neighbour had been found guilty of arson and rape and at one stage he broke into my garden. On that occasion the landlord did help, but I found it was him the council listened to not me, and I was the one who was terrified.
Give us some credit
I think sometimes people see me as an old fuddy-duddy. They don’t take a lot of interest in older people.
They see you as just a crumbly old person. Well, we are not!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Independent Age.