One of my great regrets is not taking more time with my Grandma, who lived in a granny-flat downstairs, while she was alive, says Niki May Young.
Predominantly deaf and hard of sight, she wasn't the easiest to communicate with, but she did enjoy a game of dominoes and a chat nonetheless. Yet sadly I believe that she would have been one of the half of the older population that, according to statistics from Age UK, would consider the television her greatest companion. There was no escaping the loud muffled sound of the box at full volume from upstairs, or the haze of a blue screen as I passed her window on my way back inside my house, but I often went a week without even popping my head in hers.
Now I look back, and around, with sadness that the old adage 'respect your elders' appears to have deteriorated to dust throughout the years. Around 3.7 million older people now live alone in the UK.
I learnt in my later years, through the woman I hold as my greatest inspiration, my Granny (pictured), who out-lasted my Grandma by over ten years, that older people have so much to give. From her I learnt the meaning of elegance, respect, courage, patience, and of course, good food.
It's with great joy, then, that I learnt of a recent film series devised by Jewish Care, that aims to change people's perception of older people, and remind them what they have to offer.
Pearls of Wisdom, created by renowned creative director Malcolm Green, has become somewhat of an online sensation, generating over 10,000 views on YouTube and interest from Twitteratti including Sir Alan Sugar and Claudia Winkleman.
I'm pledging my support too, as I think the heart of a civil society originates from the lessons learnt by those who have seen it all before.
This one is my favourite: