ColumnistsVogue Williams

We should all do our bit to support older people

We should all do our bit to support older people

I was walking through town last week when I was in Dublin and I saw a very elderly man making his way down Grafton Street.

I looked at him and he seemed in need of help, he didn’t look clean and he was quite dishevelled.

It got me thinking about how many elderly people, just like him, are in that very same position.

They get to an age where they need looking after. But there is nobody there to help them.

I write a lot about the homeless crisis and people in need in this column, but I have never discussed this topic.

That is because, until I spotted that man, the struggles of my older generation were just not that visible to me.

The loneliness suffered by some isolated elderly people must be very difficult, but to be unable to care for yourself properly must be the hardest part.

I used to read to the elderly in a nursing home when I was younger and the people I met were so lovely and full of chat, you could tell they were glad of the company.

Our health system is stretched to its limit and I know they do send carers around to those most in need, but I believe we should all do our bit to help out in our own ways with the generations above us.

When you don’t have a big family support system, it is easy to fall under the radar.

I often think about when my parents and close family get old and what will happen to them. They are lucky because we come from a large family and any one of us would be delighted to have them with us if they needed help.

I have seen some programmes about the elderly in the UK and how so many are living without heating and rely on meal delivery services to feed themselves, eating alone in their cold house, it’s just so sad.

I suppose I wanted to write this piece because I wanted to remind everyone to keep an eye on the older people in the community.

I know that I want to find a way to help out especially, with winter coming in again.

 It’s important to look after each other.

Refusing to print invites is a disgrace

I was absolutely disgusted to read that a printing company, Beulah Print, refused to print wedding invitations for a same sex couple in Ireland.

I can guarantee you that I won’t be shopping here because of this.

They said it’s against their religious beliefs to do so, but in my opinion they need to get a grip.

I was so angry to read that even after we, as a country, voted in favour of gay marriage, that we still have narrow-minded people like this in Ireland.

This is the second time this company has been in the headlines for this.

I would never give them my business because it’s against my moral beliefs to interact with people like them.

I’m actually embarrassed for them and if they want their business to fail they are certainly going about it the right way.

Demon Drink

Are we too boozy?

According to a survey by Healthy Ireland almost two thirds of people on higher salaries drink a few days a week and binge drink at least once a week.

I know plenty of people who drink daily and think nothing of it. I was never a huge drinker – I mean, I would have my one night out a week and, according to experts, that would probably be classed as binge drinking. But, to be fair, you don’t have to put away an awful lot to be placed within the binge drinking category.

 I have found that as I have got older I am more inclined to have a glass of wine after a long day’s work. I would never drink daily, as I have never been a huge fan of the taste of alcohol, but if I have a long day I find it helps me unwind.

The most likely age group to drink frequently are between 55 and 64 years old, but it is also quite high among pensioners as well.

The survey has found that we have developed an attitude called “respectable drinking”. I would agree with that because I see no issue with someone having a glass of wine each night after work. I see no problem with it, but I wouldn’t do it myself.

Alcohol can be bad for you, it’s calorific and for me it makes my face puffy, which is not ideal in my line of work. We have always had a strange relationship with alcohol here in Ireland as it’s very much a part of our social lives.

I know if I tell people I’m not drinking they look at me like I’ve got 10 heads!

We may all have to take a look at our drinking habits because we are becoming a nation with increasing levels of obesity and general poor health.

What a week

I flew back to London on Sunday so I would be ready to start the week fresh – and it was lots of fun.

I spent Monday in meetings and I have been training quite hard because I had two big photoshoots on this week. I am the face of two new companies, so I wanted to feel in the best shape going into my shoots.

We did one shoot in Dublin with Evan Doherty – who is an amazing photographer. The pictures were fab (see above and right) and the whole team was just fantastic.

I also went to Soho Farmhouse during the week because I wanted to take a little trip away from London. I didn’t really have time for a holiday this summer, so I am trying to do a few weekends and day trips when I have time off instead.

As you are reading this column, I will be sitting in my apartment in Howth writing – I rarely get days off at home, so it is really nice.

I know I’ll be writing, so it is essentially work, but I am doing a big cliff walk with friends and eating all the food I can get my hands on, so it’s as good as a day off.

I will also be roping my aunt into cooking me my favourite dinner before spending the night watching a movie.