Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Dench: UK not good with old age

Judi Dench stars in new film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Dame Judi Dench has hit out at the treatment of older people in Britain.

The actress, 77, told the Radio Times that she had no plans to retire, as she could not even "understand the word".

But she said: "We're not good at dealing with old age in this country. We shove people in a room and leave them sitting round a television.

"We didn't do that in our family - shove people into a nursing home."

Dame Judi said that she and her late husband, the actor Michael Williams, had his parents and the actress's widowed mother living with them for 12 years.

"It was ideal, and the alternative is not good in my opinion. You learn such a lot from the generation above you.

"My daughter has lovely memories of that time and now talks about her grandparents with great fondness, as do I," she told the magazine.

Love Actually actor Bill Nighy, who stars with Dame Judi in the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a movie about a group of retired people taking up residence in India, said: "It's unusual to see a film about older people.

"The way the elderly are treated, and in some cases warehoused and medicated, rather than nurtured and listened to, is distressing.

"The fact that they pay taxes all of their lives and then are expected to give all of their savings to maintain themselves should they need assistance is absolutely disgraceful and one of the great scandals of our society."

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