Older People's Reference Group

Mary Brown

What were your involvements before NDA?

Mary Brown

Before joining NDA I had been an Open University tutor, DD100 - Introduction to the Social Sciences - for many years.



Why did you join the OPRG?

I joined NDA OPRG because, in my 60s, I was studying for an OU doctorate in education. The title of my dissertation was ‘Learning in Later Life: oldering or empowerment. A third age researcher’s interpretation of some voices of third age learners.’ I was interested in NDA because it seems, unlike much gerontology, to take old people seriously, and have no ageist agenda.

What has been the most rewarding part of being a member of the OPRG?

It was some time after applying to join before I was accepted, and having been a member for less than a year it is hard to say what is most rewarding. I think it is probably two invitations to meet those involved in research.

What would you like to see the NDA achieve?

I would hope that NDA will help to change the image of old people, particularly in the media, so that the word ‘old’ might one day not be seen as insulting, and old people would not feel it necessary to call themselves ‘older’. (Everyone is older than they once were). I hope it might play a part in combating oldering, the process whereby old people accept that they are ‘too old’ to do all sorts of things that they are perfectly capable of.

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