Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Over 50s clubs

(36 Posts)
Grammaretto Thu 25-Apr-19 11:28:53

I'm well over 50 but still feel a resistance to join any club specifically for older people.
What do others think? I would love to know if you are members, what you get up to and any things to avoid!
I have reluctantly joined an easier yoga group recently so I could be converted if you come up with some really good reasons. After all I've joined GN, been to a few meet-ups which I thoroughly enjoyed.

M0nica Tue 30-Apr-19 20:40:13

The classes are on a Monday afternoon. I doubt there is any one under retirement age attending.

However given how many people work shifts these day, there are probably many working people under 50 who could attend. DD worked shifts for over 20 years and was a regular at the local sports centre in 'working' hours. Now she has moved to a 9 - 5 job she really misses being able to go swimming or to the gym in off peak hours.

SirChenjin Tue 30-Apr-19 20:36:38

Do you have many people in their 50s attending or are they at work during the day (assuming that they’re on during traditional business hours)?

M0nica Tue 30-Apr-19 20:30:51

Probably run by people in their 50s. I do also think there is some government threshold that enables groups to get funding if what they do is open to the 'over 50s.

I attend a regular Tai Chi class in the village hall, this is part funded by some government initiative to get people over 50 into activity. I could do it at the local sports centre where I do pilates, but it is cheaper to do it in the village hall.

I think there is some evidence that people start slowing down physically after 50, but you really need tospeak to the government. I can only guess.

SirChenjin Tue 30-Apr-19 20:12:32

I'm well aware that when some of these clubs were set up things were different for many, but the club that was advertising locally for people in their golden years over 50 was absolutely not set up years ago - it's a relatively recent thing, but obviously has people running it who think of over 50 as 'old' or 'in their golden years' It's not an area of high deprivation and I am very well aware from a professional perspective that the NHS and improvements in social care, housing, public health and so on has done wonders for people (and continues to do so) but I'm also very aware that we need to do more to challenge the idea that keeping fit and active for as long isn't within the reach of many.

When groups (funded centrally) are advertising their over 50 clubs through the week when the majority of us are working and feature things such as 'gentle exercise' that concerns me as it fails to recognise the changes that have taken place in society. It's not being disrespectful to believe that.

M0nica Tue 30-Apr-19 19:53:00

SirChenjin the purpose of these clubs is not to encourage a societal mindset which says that we are old (or in our golden years) at 50.

But you need to remember when many of these clubs were set up many people, men and women, were exhausted and old at 50. Worn down by a lifetime of heavy manual labour in all weathers and low incomes and for most of their lives unable to afford medical care. The introduction of the NHS has probably done more to improve the health of older poor people than almost anything else.

I think there are very few people, if any, in their early older age who are remotely tempted to think themselves old, just because a club for older people takes members from 50.

It is like retirement schemes that take residents from 50. I never met anyone under 70 in one of those developments but they have to allow for the occasional older resident with a much younger partner.

It was a shock and revelation to me when I became a volunteer home visitor with what was known then as Age Concern, how many times I was going out to visit 'old' people, who were actually younger than me (I did the work between my mid 50s and mid-60s.

I think we should talk of the people who attend these clubs with respect. Most members continue to come from the less well off in society and most have still had a life of poorly paid unskilled manual labour, even if not as hard as that of their parents and grandparents. Had you had the lives they had had, you too would be glad of an over 60s club and the chance to meet up once a week for a cup of tea, possibly a singsong, and a day trip to Blackpool.

SirChenjin Tue 30-Apr-19 14:20:13

Jenpax - I absolutely agree! On a more serious note, I think it’s hugely dangerous for these organisations and clubs to encourage a societal mindset which says that we are old (or in our golden years 😂) at 50. We’re only just over half way through our lifespan at 50 - it’s important to have a young outlook in order to keep fit, healthy and active as opposed to thinking that it’s time to slow down and take it easy.

jenpax Tue 30-Apr-19 13:50:43

Live so much longer! Wretched auto correct!

jenpax Tue 30-Apr-19 13:49:36

SirChenjin Exactly! I too am in my early 50,s and I consider myself young! I work full time and won’t be retiring until I am 67 I was horrified to find out that I qualified for Age concerns services at age 50! For heavens sake I am still youngish and feel more in common with friends in their 40’s than my parents generation in their 80’s! I get very cross by being called an older person after all we all love do much longer now

BlueBelle Tue 30-Apr-19 12:36:12

There is an over 60 s club here and when I looked in the window as I went past they were all old dears I m 74 but a long way away from an old dear So no not for me I d prefer a mixed age group

Tartlet Tue 30-Apr-19 11:45:27

No-one has mentioned the WI. The old image has long gone and I very much enjoy the varied activities the WI provides. There a many local branches around and the one I'm a member of has a very mixed age range. At 70 I'm joint oldest and our President is in her 30s with most people being somewhere in the middle. It's a very friendly branch and we have lots of fun at the monthly meetings and the assorted spin offs such as craft evenings where we play about with a different craft each month to disguise that it's really an excuse for tea, cakes and general conviviality. Lots of opportunities to get out in friendly company.

BradfordLass72 Tue 30-Apr-19 10:28:46

I like my elders group because everyone else is a different culture to me - I learn a lot and its great fun.

And they never, ever play the terminally boring Bingo grin

Anja Sat 27-Apr-19 17:01:05

I’ve joined two exercise sessions at a local community hall aimed at ‘prime ladies’. As I have a good level of fitness and muscle tone I thought it would be a dawdle.

Ha! Ha! bloody ha!

I’m struggling to keep up with these, mainly, over 70s. And what a lovely welcoming bunch they are too.

Justme67 Sat 27-Apr-19 16:18:59

I recently started going to a coffee morning in a church hall, mainly because a neightbour could take me, I no longer drive. I had visited this club a couple of years ago (while my husband could be left) and was not impressed, so did not return; but this later visit turned out to be entirely different, someone had taken it in hand, and I now go as often as I can - I do remember Vera Lynn, and Run Rabbit Run Rabbit so I am of the older generation and probably enjoy this sort of thing more so than those younger than me
However, there are lots of the younger generation at this particular club many of them into crafts, and all working away to raise money either for charity or to keep the club running. Being lazy I play scrabble which I enjoy. Since starting that one my neighbour has kindly offered to take me to another coffee morning, run I presume by the small group of women who enjoy making cakes, because there are plenty there. Here I just sit and chat which is a joy, BUT I would think that several of these women who actually run this club would be considered to be over 50 who have found something they like doing which I think is rather clever and because of these two clubs I find I am being offered other opportunities I could not take part in whilst my husband was alive - that is not a complain, just a statement of fact. Both these activities are held in villages which seem to be good at these things, but without the transport provided by my friend I would be unable to take part. Nothing like a good friend.

tinaf1 Sat 27-Apr-19 15:13:16

Kamiso I think we must have tried the same U3A club, did you find anything that you were interested in and join

aggie Sat 27-Apr-19 13:55:21

When I was in my late 60s there was a new community hall opened , it was to be a neutral venue for activities for the villagers and OH and myself went along to the meeting to see what was on offer . One woman wanted to start a club to get the older folk out of the house , but she called it ... "The Twilight Club " , she was laughed at , but a few of us knew what she meant and managed to get a committee under the name of the Wednesday club , now it is the Village Club
we have outings , handicrafts and talks , visiting choirs and quizzes .
We have members of all ages and abilities ,
we have an annual holiday away , suits people who don't have anyone to go away with , non members love to join us on this
The favourite bit is the chance to chat and catch up when we indulge in biscuits and coffee , this starts the morning , and once a month we have lunch before leaving , in the spirit of breaking bread together

petra Sat 27-Apr-19 10:46:37

That's more like it. I still sail now.
Joining a 'over 50s' club when I was in mine couldn't have been further from my world.

Eglantine21 Sat 27-Apr-19 10:33:53

Have a look at this.

A club made entirely from recycled teenagers.

BlueSapphire Sat 27-Apr-19 09:55:57

After DH died I did join our local over 50s club, and although some of the talks were interesting I felt that I wasn't quite ready to join the blue rinse permed hair brigade who all seemed over 80 and had known each other for donkeys years. It was also very cliquey. I don't miss it!

However I go to a gentle yoga group, a couple of walking groups and a book club, all of which are open to any age and feel much more comfortable.

I am also being encouraged to volunteer with an organisation for the 'elderly', which is aimed specifically at people who find it difficult to get out and about and who are perhaps lonely and may not see anyone else from one week's end to the next. I feel and hope that it might do me as much good as I hope it does for them.

I did look at U3A, but none of the interest groups appealed to me. Anyway I am now busy enough.

M0nica Sat 27-Apr-19 09:15:43

I must say, that, for me, the idea of joining social clubs just for older people has few attractions. I have always joined clubs where we are joined by a common interest, although sometimes that does, de facto, mean mainly people my age, whatever that age is. I would consider U3A as being an interest club, that happens to be age specific, rather than the other way round.

I do a Tai Chi class for the over 50s, although Tai Chi being what it is, I doubt it is very different for the under 50s. I suspect it only qualifies for the 'over 50 'tag because it is subsidised by a fitness initiative for older people and is held mid afternoon in the village hall.

BradfordLass72 Sat 27-Apr-19 07:10:56

I joined my elders group without ever considering age.

Several years ago I was invited to join "our singing group" and it all started like that.

I am collected in the group's van, a hugely necessary thing for me as I can't use public transport or drive.
We have a wonderful time and lots of laughs.

The other group I go to is for any age but members are intellectually handicapped and older people.
Here we do crafts, play indoor bowls (the men mainly) Scrabble, cards and so on.

It is totally different in nature to the elders group but I enjoy both.

Funny thing is, before I started losing my sight, I wasn't a 'club person' at all. I didn't need to be, I could go where I wanted and do as I pleased.

Groucho said, 'I wouldn't want to join any club which would have me as a member!'

But surprisingly I love it and if I don't want to go at any time, I don't.

jeanie99 Fri 26-Apr-19 22:49:58

I think age is irrelevant to clubs I join because I have an interest in the subject matter.
Does joining an over 50 club mean you don't do anything someone under 50 would do?

Kamiso Thu 25-Apr-19 16:22:12

Our local U3A is the most cliquey group I've ever come across. They save seats for each other and new comers are told "You can't sit there"! Most were teachers or in "education" but obviously have a lot to learn. The few who do talk to non teachers are actually looking over your shoulder to see if there is anyone they would rather chat to. Must be so distressing for anyone newly widowed or alone and in desperate need of companionship.

SirChenjin Thu 25-Apr-19 15:42:22

A local Over 50s club was looking for new members and advertised themselves as a club "for those of us in our golden years". I've just turned 50 and the idea that I'm in my golden years with a child at primary school and almost 20 years of work ahead of me is both laughable and horrifying.

I may have posted a slightly cheeky reply on their page and I don't think I'll be welcome on any of their bus tours any time soon.

Grammaretto Thu 25-Apr-19 15:34:58

That's useful yggdrasil thanks.
Our local branch has art and history groups where some friends go and enjoy. Talks and gallery visits etc.

BethOdACTS Thu 25-Apr-19 15:34:38

Hello all !
As the Community Development Worker for Age Concern Tyneside South I'm trying to put on stereotype busting things.
If any of you guys have any ideas on what you would like to see please get in touch on here or on [email protected] Any help would be greatly appreciated.
(Brand new to Gransnet so if this has been discussed anywhere else I apologise)