M: Today, we've Professor McKay on our morning talk show. Good morning, Professor McKay.
W: Good morning.
M: I've heard that you and your team have just completed a report on old age.
W: That's right.
M: Could you tell me what your report is about?
W: Well, the report basically looks into the various beliefs that people hold about old age and tries to verify them.
M: And what do you think your report can achieve?
W: We hope that it will somehow help people to change their feelings about old age.
W: The problem is that far too many of us believe that most old people are poor, lonely, and unhappy.
W: As a result, we tend to find old people, as a group, unattractive. And this is very dangerous for our society.
M: But surely we cannot escape the fact that many old people are lonely and many are sick.
W: No, we can't. But we must also remember that the proportion of such people is no greater among the 60-70 age group than among the 50-60 age group.
M: In other words, there is no more mental illness, for example, among the 60s-70s than among the 50s-60s.
W: Right! And why should there be?
W: Why should we expect people to suddenly change when they reach their 60th or 65th birthday any more than they did when they reached their 21st?
M: But one would expect there to be more physical illness among old people, surely.
W: Why should one expect this? After all, those people who reach the age of 65 or 70 are the strong among us.
W: The weak die mainly in childhood, then in their 40s and 50s. Furthermore, by the time people reach 60 or 65, they have learned how to look after themselves.
W: They keep warm, sleep regular hours, and eat sensibly.
W: Of course, some old people do suffer from physical illnesses, but these do not suddenly develop on their 65th birthday.
W: People who are healthy in middle age tend to be healthy in old age, just as one would expect.
M: Do you find that young people these days are not as concerned about their parents as their parents were about theirs?
W: We have found nothing that suggests that family feeling is either dying or dead.
W: There do not appear to be large numbers of young people who are trying, for example, to have their dear old mother locked up in a mental hospital.
M: But don't many more parents live apart from their married children than used to be the case?
W: True, but this is because many more young families can afford to own their own homes these days than ever before.
W: In other words, parents and their married children usually live in separate households because they prefer it that way,
W: not because the children refuse to have mum and dad living with them.