Silver Line founder Esther Rantzen speaks out following tragic deaths of pensioners in Bournemouth

Bournemouth Echo: CONCERNED: Charity founder Esther Rantzen CONCERNED: Charity founder Esther Rantzen

CAMPAIGNER Esther Rantzen has spoken out to raise awareness of the plight of vulnerable elderly people following a spate of deaths in Bournemouth.

The TV presenter called the Daily Echo to express her concern over the case of two pensioners found dead at a block of flats in the town.

The bodies of devoted couple Roy and Glenys Smith, who were 92 and 89-years-old, were discovered in the gardens of Crag Head apartments in Manor Road last Tuesday.

They had fallen from the window of their bedroom on the third floor of the building. An inquest on Monday heard that the couple both died of multiple traumatic injuries, pending the results of a toxicology report, and had left a suicide note in their home.

Mr and Mrs Smith, both of Pontypool in Wales, had spoken to neighbours of fears about having to go into a care home.

On Monday, a woman in her 70s from the Westcliff area fell to her death from a bridge at Bournemouth beauty spot Middle Chine.

And three weeks ago, on November 17, the daughter of 92-year-old Joan Gill found the “frail” grandmother in bed with a bag over her head.

Mrs Gill, of Doveshill Mobile Home Park in Barnes Road, had told family members that she had “lived too long”.

Miss Rantzen established charity Silverline to support lonely and distressed elderly people this month.

The charity has received two calls in the wake of the deaths of Mr and Mrs Smith from local residents.

“Silverline reminds older people that they are valued – they are our silver generation, a national treasure for their life experience, memories and the contribution they have made to this country,” she said.

“I am certain that many older people in the Bournemouth area would love to spend time chatting, having conversations with people and having a laugh. The deaths of these people in the area are absolutely tragic.”

She said: “I would like to thank the Echo for promoting the helpline. It is clear older people need an advocate.”

n Call Silverline on 0800 470 8090.

Comments (10)

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9:46am Wed 11 Dec 13

Ebb Tide says...

Silverline could be redundant if the generations (us all !) managed to overcome the pigeon holing attitudes to building developments that creates ghettos for the elderly. The chances of meeting 'passers by' if one lives in a block of flats are not great and so the chances of communication and making new friends greatly reduced. I hope to keep my elderly friends and relations confident enough to stay in their communities or to find 'care homes' small enough to remain properly integrated with their neighbouhoods.

However, whilst we continue to pander to 'ease of planning and building', so that communities cannot thrive, "Silverline" must be supported. Thank you Esther.

Let us hope "Silverline" can make a difference until we wake up to what the developers are doing to our chances of maintaining and developing neighbourhood communities.
Silverline could be redundant if the generations (us all !) managed to overcome the pigeon holing attitudes to building developments that creates ghettos for the elderly. The chances of meeting 'passers by' if one lives in a block of flats are not great and so the chances of communication and making new friends greatly reduced. I hope to keep my elderly friends and relations confident enough to stay in their communities or to find 'care homes' small enough to remain properly integrated with their neighbouhoods. However, whilst we continue to pander to 'ease of planning and building', so that communities cannot thrive, "Silverline" must be supported. Thank you Esther. Let us hope "Silverline" can make a difference until we wake up to what the developers are doing to our chances of maintaining and developing neighbourhood communities. Ebb Tide

10:58am Wed 11 Dec 13

sir roy.orbit of chippenham says...

Well said Ebb.

I'd also like to see a UK version of Dignitas so that the elderly who really have 'had enough of life' can have that option of ending it peacefully and with dignity at a time of their choosing, if they wish.

With 1 million people now suffering alzheimers here in Britain and that number set to increase as the population gets older, there is and are going to be some terrible and pointless lives being lived behind closed doors. Misery for the victim and misery for their famiy and no money to fund the care without the UK going furthur into debt than the £1.2,000,000,000,00
0. (1.2 trillion) it already owes.

The problem is that society and the NHS are brainwashing everyone see 'living as long as possible' as an ultimate goal. They focus on length of life rather than quality of life. That attitude must change, and sooner rather than later.
Well said Ebb. I'd also like to see a UK version of Dignitas so that the elderly who really have 'had enough of life' can have that option of ending it peacefully and with dignity at a time of their choosing, if they wish. With 1 million people now suffering alzheimers here in Britain and that number set to increase as the population gets older, there is and are going to be some terrible and pointless lives being lived behind closed doors. Misery for the victim and misery for their famiy and no money to fund the care without the UK going furthur into debt than the £1.2,000,000,000,00 0. (1.2 trillion) it already owes. The problem is that society and the NHS are brainwashing everyone see 'living as long as possible' as an ultimate goal. They focus on length of life rather than quality of life. That attitude must change, and sooner rather than later. sir roy.orbit of chippenham

11:00am Wed 11 Dec 13

RHeart says...

Thank you for highlighting a worthy cause and promoting what is a very important issue for all generations to wrestle with. However i am dissapointed with the examples you have used. I know for a fact that at least one of the people referred to was incredibly well cared for and did not take their life as a result of feeling neglected but as a choice to finish a life well lived in their own way and not fade away beyond recognition. I understand that it was easy to make the story fit this report and suicide is so often associated with depression or desperation but this isn't always the case. I think it is wrong to tarnish a loved persons memory and their carers for the sake of a story. Aside from this I wholehartedly support this ork and hope that the elderly are as well cared for as the individual to which I am referring.
Thank you for highlighting a worthy cause and promoting what is a very important issue for all generations to wrestle with. However i am dissapointed with the examples you have used. I know for a fact that at least one of the people referred to was incredibly well cared for and did not take their life as a result of feeling neglected but as a choice to finish a life well lived in their own way and not fade away beyond recognition. I understand that it was easy to make the story fit this report and suicide is so often associated with depression or desperation but this isn't always the case. I think it is wrong to tarnish a loved persons memory and their carers for the sake of a story. Aside from this I wholehartedly support this ork and hope that the elderly are as well cared for as the individual to which I am referring. RHeart

11:26am Wed 11 Dec 13

BmthNewshound says...

It seems that whilst medical science has been able to increase longevity we’ve neglected to address the mental wellbeing of older people. Should we really be concentrating on quality of life rather than length of life ? What’s the point of living into your 90’s and beyond if you’re lonely and miserable – isn’t that just cruel ?
.
The longer I live in Bournemouth the more it strikes me is that the town has a very transient population and very little community spirit. This means that whatever your age Bournemouth can be a very lonely place. When I visit my Mum in the Midlands people chat to each other in the street, on the bus, its not unusual for someone on their own in a coffee shop to ask another person person on their own if they can join them. This simply doesn’t happen in Bournemouth, people are very insular.
.
I don’t think that moving to a new area when you’re older is such a good idea. Starting a new life in a strange town is hard work at any age but when you’re older it’s even more of a challenge.
.
We only have to look back a couple of generations to see how family life has changed. When I was growing up my grandparents were a very important part of my childhood. Family breakdown and people having to move around the country or overseas for work has meant that for so many families drift apart.
.
In this modern world full of gadgets and gizmo’s, twitter and facebook we have lost track of the things that really matter like family and community. We call this progress ?
It seems that whilst medical science has been able to increase longevity we’ve neglected to address the mental wellbeing of older people. Should we really be concentrating on quality of life rather than length of life ? What’s the point of living into your 90’s and beyond if you’re lonely and miserable – isn’t that just cruel ? . The longer I live in Bournemouth the more it strikes me is that the town has a very transient population and very little community spirit. This means that whatever your age Bournemouth can be a very lonely place. When I visit my Mum in the Midlands people chat to each other in the street, on the bus, its not unusual for someone on their own in a coffee shop to ask another person person on their own if they can join them. This simply doesn’t happen in Bournemouth, people are very insular. . I don’t think that moving to a new area when you’re older is such a good idea. Starting a new life in a strange town is hard work at any age but when you’re older it’s even more of a challenge. . We only have to look back a couple of generations to see how family life has changed. When I was growing up my grandparents were a very important part of my childhood. Family breakdown and people having to move around the country or overseas for work has meant that for so many families drift apart. . In this modern world full of gadgets and gizmo’s, twitter and facebook we have lost track of the things that really matter like family and community. We call this progress ? BmthNewshound

1:56pm Wed 11 Dec 13

bbird says...

Having seen what my mother endured in hospital (Bournemouth was one if the best!), respite, care and nursing homes, in the NHS & private sector, I am terrified of needing care in old age. 10x worse, if as in the case of my mother, you perhaps know what's going on, but are unable to communicate.

Luckily mum lived with us toward the end, until we could no longer cope. 24/7 care was taking its toll on me and my husband.

In a 'top' London nursing home, before she passed away, I had to show staff how to feed mum (repeatedly as there we always agency staff who weren't familiar with her 'complex' needs).

I was advised by the manager of the unit a whistleblower from the nightstaff had told her mum was being manhandled and wanted to phone me. He called and confirmed this, refusing to give his name. I told the day senior manager. After some days he said 'something was going one, but they couldn't get to the bottom of it'. Hardly surprising as I eventually discovered apparently none of the senior day staff ever visited to check at night.

One morning, I arrived as resident's in mum's unit were having breakfast. No sign of her. Then I noticed her in the nursing station, 'out of the way', wheelchair swung round in front of the wall. She was like in a trance and expressionless. It turned out she was in fact dying. So rather that take her bed, she must have been pushed out of the way so they could finish with breakfast? Then on her last night, which I spent in the home, horror of horrors, when I called for nurse to check mum's blood pressure, a large woman arrived leaning on a trolley clearly walking with difficulty. She tried to take the blood pressure with one hand as did not seem to be able to stand without her other holding the trolley. In the end I had to help her.

I decided to give myself a break after 10 years of complaining to anybody (the home, MPs, Age Concern, the media) as it all went unanswered, or I received defensive letters. I always remember the 9 page letter of complaint to the Royal Free hospital in Hampstead, where she was taken when she had a stroke. They concluded my many, often serious complaints, could not be substantiated.

So would i want to go into care when I'm older and in need???

And yes why are homes always in a remote part of town, or up a hill etc. They should be in the centre of the community where volunteers, friends and family can pop in easily. (In mum's case she was nearly 2 hours by public transport to get to ... 'Decent' homes near me in either didn't take you if you were wheelchair bound, or if you had dementia. One, on the list provided by the council only took retired actors. Others were full. The only 2 loc homes prepared to take mum were the 'pits' (creamy floorboards, tiny lifts, fraying net curtains)
Having seen what my mother endured in hospital (Bournemouth was one if the best!), respite, care and nursing homes, in the NHS & private sector, I am terrified of needing care in old age. 10x worse, if as in the case of my mother, you perhaps know what's going on, but are unable to communicate. Luckily mum lived with us toward the end, until we could no longer cope. 24/7 care was taking its toll on me and my husband. In a 'top' London nursing home, before she passed away, I had to show staff how to feed mum (repeatedly as there we always agency staff who weren't familiar with her 'complex' needs). I was advised by the manager of the unit a whistleblower from the nightstaff had told her mum was being manhandled and wanted to phone me. He called and confirmed this, refusing to give his name. I told the day senior manager. After some days he said 'something was going one, but they couldn't get to the bottom of it'. Hardly surprising as I eventually discovered apparently none of the senior day staff ever visited to check at night. One morning, I arrived as resident's in mum's unit were having breakfast. No sign of her. Then I noticed her in the nursing station, 'out of the way', wheelchair swung round in front of the wall. She was like in a trance and expressionless. It turned out she was in fact dying. So rather that take her bed, she must have been pushed out of the way so they could finish with breakfast? Then on her last night, which I spent in the home, horror of horrors, when I called for nurse to check mum's blood pressure, a large woman arrived leaning on a trolley clearly walking with difficulty. She tried to take the blood pressure with one hand as did not seem to be able to stand without her other holding the trolley. In the end I had to help her. I decided to give myself a break after 10 years of complaining to anybody (the home, MPs, Age Concern, the media) as it all went unanswered, or I received defensive letters. I always remember the 9 page letter of complaint to the Royal Free hospital in Hampstead, where she was taken when she had a stroke. They concluded my many, often serious complaints, could not be substantiated. So would i want to go into care when I'm older and in need??? And yes why are homes always in a remote part of town, or up a hill etc. They should be in the centre of the community where volunteers, friends and family can pop in easily. (In mum's case she was nearly 2 hours by public transport to get to ... 'Decent' homes near me in either didn't take you if you were wheelchair bound, or if you had dementia. One, on the list provided by the council only took retired actors. Others were full. The only 2 loc homes prepared to take mum were the 'pits' (creamy floorboards, tiny lifts, fraying net curtains) bbird

3:24pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Ebb Tide says...

bbird wrote:
Having seen what my mother endured in hospital (Bournemouth was one if the best!), respite, care and nursing homes, in the NHS & private sector, I am terrified of needing care in old age. 10x worse, if as in the case of my mother, you perhaps know what's going on, but are unable to communicate.

Luckily mum lived with us toward the end, until we could no longer cope. 24/7 care was taking its toll on me and my husband.

In a 'top' London nursing home, before she passed away, I had to show staff how to feed mum (repeatedly as there we always agency staff who weren't familiar with her 'complex' needs).

I was advised by the manager of the unit a whistleblower from the nightstaff had told her mum was being manhandled and wanted to phone me. He called and confirmed this, refusing to give his name. I told the day senior manager. After some days he said 'something was going one, but they couldn't get to the bottom of it'. Hardly surprising as I eventually discovered apparently none of the senior day staff ever visited to check at night.

One morning, I arrived as resident's in mum's unit were having breakfast. No sign of her. Then I noticed her in the nursing station, 'out of the way', wheelchair swung round in front of the wall. She was like in a trance and expressionless. It turned out she was in fact dying. So rather that take her bed, she must have been pushed out of the way so they could finish with breakfast? Then on her last night, which I spent in the home, horror of horrors, when I called for nurse to check mum's blood pressure, a large woman arrived leaning on a trolley clearly walking with difficulty. She tried to take the blood pressure with one hand as did not seem to be able to stand without her other holding the trolley. In the end I had to help her.

I decided to give myself a break after 10 years of complaining to anybody (the home, MPs, Age Concern, the media) as it all went unanswered, or I received defensive letters. I always remember the 9 page letter of complaint to the Royal Free hospital in Hampstead, where she was taken when she had a stroke. They concluded my many, often serious complaints, could not be substantiated.

So would i want to go into care when I'm older and in need???

And yes why are homes always in a remote part of town, or up a hill etc. They should be in the centre of the community where volunteers, friends and family can pop in easily. (In mum's case she was nearly 2 hours by public transport to get to ... 'Decent' homes near me in either didn't take you if you were wheelchair bound, or if you had dementia. One, on the list provided by the council only took retired actors. Others were full. The only 2 loc homes prepared to take mum were the 'pits' (creamy floorboards, tiny lifts, fraying net curtains)
Poole hospital has "Golden Rules" which should be adopted by all who undertake a caring role. They are so basic to human dignity that it beggars belief that "care" homes (as described here) so obviously need such reminders.

G..greet patients and find out how they are feeling.

O..observe - Do patients look comfortable? Have they adequate pain relief ?

L..listen to patients and their relatives - address their wishes and concerns.

D..drink is important, Can patients reach a drink and call bell ?

E..explain what you are doing and why, so patients can understand.

N..never walk through closed curtains without asking permission first.


R..respect all - regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, ability.

U..understand how your behaviour, language or attitude may seem to patients or colleagues.

L..look out for problems and take ownership - don't assume someone else will.

E..empathise with patients and colleagues - what is it like to be in their shoes !

S..share good practice so that everyone can benefit

Here endeth the 'first lesson' for those willing to learn from the Poole approach to providing effective care for any person who cannot cope unaided.
[quote][p][bold]bbird[/bold] wrote: Having seen what my mother endured in hospital (Bournemouth was one if the best!), respite, care and nursing homes, in the NHS & private sector, I am terrified of needing care in old age. 10x worse, if as in the case of my mother, you perhaps know what's going on, but are unable to communicate. Luckily mum lived with us toward the end, until we could no longer cope. 24/7 care was taking its toll on me and my husband. In a 'top' London nursing home, before she passed away, I had to show staff how to feed mum (repeatedly as there we always agency staff who weren't familiar with her 'complex' needs). I was advised by the manager of the unit a whistleblower from the nightstaff had told her mum was being manhandled and wanted to phone me. He called and confirmed this, refusing to give his name. I told the day senior manager. After some days he said 'something was going one, but they couldn't get to the bottom of it'. Hardly surprising as I eventually discovered apparently none of the senior day staff ever visited to check at night. One morning, I arrived as resident's in mum's unit were having breakfast. No sign of her. Then I noticed her in the nursing station, 'out of the way', wheelchair swung round in front of the wall. She was like in a trance and expressionless. It turned out she was in fact dying. So rather that take her bed, she must have been pushed out of the way so they could finish with breakfast? Then on her last night, which I spent in the home, horror of horrors, when I called for nurse to check mum's blood pressure, a large woman arrived leaning on a trolley clearly walking with difficulty. She tried to take the blood pressure with one hand as did not seem to be able to stand without her other holding the trolley. In the end I had to help her. I decided to give myself a break after 10 years of complaining to anybody (the home, MPs, Age Concern, the media) as it all went unanswered, or I received defensive letters. I always remember the 9 page letter of complaint to the Royal Free hospital in Hampstead, where she was taken when she had a stroke. They concluded my many, often serious complaints, could not be substantiated. So would i want to go into care when I'm older and in need??? And yes why are homes always in a remote part of town, or up a hill etc. They should be in the centre of the community where volunteers, friends and family can pop in easily. (In mum's case she was nearly 2 hours by public transport to get to ... 'Decent' homes near me in either didn't take you if you were wheelchair bound, or if you had dementia. One, on the list provided by the council only took retired actors. Others were full. The only 2 loc homes prepared to take mum were the 'pits' (creamy floorboards, tiny lifts, fraying net curtains)[/p][/quote]Poole hospital has "Golden Rules" which should be adopted by all who undertake a caring role. They are so basic to human dignity that it beggars belief that "care" homes (as described here) so obviously need such reminders. G..greet patients and find out how they are feeling. O..observe - Do patients look comfortable? Have they adequate pain relief ? L..listen to patients and their relatives - address their wishes and concerns. D..drink is important, Can patients reach a drink and call bell ? E..explain what you are doing and why, so patients can understand. N..never walk through closed curtains without asking permission first. R..respect all - regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, ability. U..understand how your behaviour, language or attitude may seem to patients or colleagues. L..look out for problems and take ownership - don't assume someone else will. E..empathise with patients and colleagues - what is it like to be in their shoes ! S..share good practice so that everyone can benefit Here endeth the 'first lesson' for those willing to learn from the Poole approach to providing effective care for any person who cannot cope unaided. Ebb Tide

4:10pm Wed 11 Dec 13

BIGTONE says...

She said: “I would like to thank the Echo for promoting the helpline. It is clear older people need an advocate.”


They don't need an advocate.
They need Government help.
They have been abandoned along with the sick,the poor and vulnerable.
As David and the posh boys say.....we are all in this together!!!!
She said: “I would like to thank the Echo for promoting the helpline. It is clear older people need an advocate.” They don't need an advocate. They need Government help. They have been abandoned along with the sick,the poor and vulnerable. As David and the posh boys say.....we are all in this together!!!! BIGTONE

4:31pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Ebb Tide says...

BIGTONE wrote:
She said: “I would like to thank the Echo for promoting the helpline. It is clear older people need an advocate.”


They don't need an advocate.
They need Government help.
They have been abandoned along with the sick,the poor and vulnerable.
As David and the posh boys say.....we are all in this together!!!!
Agreed. Some of us are more in it than others !

Not exactly sociable methinks and very reminiscent of pre French Revolution days.

Those than can should seems to have been forgotten. What, you ask, and one could reply "work" or "help" or "work and help" depending upon the ability of the person who can !!

To avoid taxation of over 100% on annual income above an agreed level (to be set by Parliament) perhaps more of our multi-millionaires will remember that they can be philanthropists and not hoarders in these times of economic difficulty created by those that are not really in it at all ??
[quote][p][bold]BIGTONE[/bold] wrote: She said: “I would like to thank the Echo for promoting the helpline. It is clear older people need an advocate.” They don't need an advocate. They need Government help. They have been abandoned along with the sick,the poor and vulnerable. As David and the posh boys say.....we are all in this together!!!![/p][/quote]Agreed. Some of us are more in it than others ! Not exactly sociable methinks and very reminiscent of pre French Revolution days. Those than can should seems to have been forgotten. What, you ask, and one could reply "work" or "help" or "work and help" depending upon the ability of the person who can !! To avoid taxation of over 100% on annual income above an agreed level (to be set by Parliament) perhaps more of our multi-millionaires will remember that they can be philanthropists and not hoarders in these times of economic difficulty created by those that are not really in it at all ?? Ebb Tide

5:59pm Wed 11 Dec 13

bbird says...

And help carers! I had one much needed 2 hour break once a week when Crossroads came to sit with mum (she couldn't be left alone as she didn't understand she would fall if she tried to get up). I had to stop the 2x week visit to the day centre when I found her trying to eat the round multicolour bingo tokens!

So apart from a quick dash into the village for errands, with help from my husband, I was either washing, preparing pureed food, washing clothes and sheets (sometimes 2x daily due to endless urine infections) etc

I stopped 'council' carers (who we paid) as they often came late and kept changing so I had to explain everything to them. The carers were initially excellent dedicated people with years of dedication and experience. Then the council decided to contract out to a private company. So all the good carers had had enough and left. Instead in came untrained staff, one an American who wanted short term work as her husband had been stationed in a nearby military base, another who was actually good left for a better paid job as s Tesco cashier, another washed mum in the wet shower with muddy shoes on and the entire floor got covered in brown mud. Others totally disinterested, so in the end we chose to do it ourselves (especially as it needed to people to hoist her out of bed, so I had to be there anyway.

I used to get really annoyed when the local Carers Association sent invitations to tea parties and days out. How on earth could i go if I had to stay with mum??
And help carers! I had one much needed 2 hour break once a week when Crossroads came to sit with mum (she couldn't be left alone as she didn't understand she would fall if she tried to get up). I had to stop the 2x week visit to the day centre when I found her trying to eat the round multicolour bingo tokens! So apart from a quick dash into the village for errands, with help from my husband, I was either washing, preparing pureed food, washing clothes and sheets (sometimes 2x daily due to endless urine infections) etc I stopped 'council' carers (who we paid) as they often came late and kept changing so I had to explain everything to them. The carers were initially excellent dedicated people with years of dedication and experience. Then the council decided to contract out to a private company. So all the good carers had had enough and left. Instead in came untrained staff, one an American who wanted short term work as her husband had been stationed in a nearby military base, another who was actually good left for a better paid job as s Tesco cashier, another washed mum in the wet shower with muddy shoes on and the entire floor got covered in brown mud. Others totally disinterested, so in the end we chose to do it ourselves (especially as it needed to people to hoist her out of bed, so I had to be there anyway. I used to get really annoyed when the local Carers Association sent invitations to tea parties and days out. How on earth could i go if I had to stay with mum?? bbird

10:05pm Wed 11 Dec 13

pete woodley says...

BmthNewshound wrote:
It seems that whilst medical science has been able to increase longevity we’ve neglected to address the mental wellbeing of older people. Should we really be concentrating on quality of life rather than length of life ? What’s the point of living into your 90’s and beyond if you’re lonely and miserable – isn’t that just cruel ?
.
The longer I live in Bournemouth the more it strikes me is that the town has a very transient population and very little community spirit. This means that whatever your age Bournemouth can be a very lonely place. When I visit my Mum in the Midlands people chat to each other in the street, on the bus, its not unusual for someone on their own in a coffee shop to ask another person person on their own if they can join them. This simply doesn’t happen in Bournemouth, people are very insular.
.
I don’t think that moving to a new area when you’re older is such a good idea. Starting a new life in a strange town is hard work at any age but when you’re older it’s even more of a challenge.
.
We only have to look back a couple of generations to see how family life has changed. When I was growing up my grandparents were a very important part of my childhood. Family breakdown and people having to move around the country or overseas for work has meant that for so many families drift apart.
.
In this modern world full of gadgets and gizmo’s, twitter and facebook we have lost track of the things that really matter like family and community. We call this progress ?
If you try to b e chatty and friendly here they think you want something.
[quote][p][bold]BmthNewshound[/bold] wrote: It seems that whilst medical science has been able to increase longevity we’ve neglected to address the mental wellbeing of older people. Should we really be concentrating on quality of life rather than length of life ? What’s the point of living into your 90’s and beyond if you’re lonely and miserable – isn’t that just cruel ? . The longer I live in Bournemouth the more it strikes me is that the town has a very transient population and very little community spirit. This means that whatever your age Bournemouth can be a very lonely place. When I visit my Mum in the Midlands people chat to each other in the street, on the bus, its not unusual for someone on their own in a coffee shop to ask another person person on their own if they can join them. This simply doesn’t happen in Bournemouth, people are very insular. . I don’t think that moving to a new area when you’re older is such a good idea. Starting a new life in a strange town is hard work at any age but when you’re older it’s even more of a challenge. . We only have to look back a couple of generations to see how family life has changed. When I was growing up my grandparents were a very important part of my childhood. Family breakdown and people having to move around the country or overseas for work has meant that for so many families drift apart. . In this modern world full of gadgets and gizmo’s, twitter and facebook we have lost track of the things that really matter like family and community. We call this progress ?[/p][/quote]If you try to b e chatty and friendly here they think you want something. pete woodley

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