“We started the society because it’s hard for older ladies to meet new people.”


Whilst in a restaurant in London this week I saw a table of ladies swathed in purple clothes wearing red hats over beautiful white hair.  Some of the hats were functionally warm, others were various shapes of a trilby and one rather flamboyant lady wore a red flower and feather in her hair. 
They were giggling like schoolgirls and totally oblivious to people watching them.  They didn’t give two hoots; they were having fun.
Curiosity got the better of me, so I approached and asked who they were.

With a beaming smile a lady told me that they were The Red Hat Society inspired by Jenny Joseph’s poem ‘When I’m Old.’
“We started the society because it’s hard for older ladies to meet new people.” 
Her statement blew me away.  I talk about this a lot in terms of women needing her sisters, her girlie mates; it’s the way we thrive.   The problem is we have to make new friends all the time because sadly they die.  Yes I mean it!  How many older ladies are lonely because their friends are no longer on this earth.
These smashing ladies had just finished a delicious lunch that they didn’t cook or clear away, they were then off to the theatre and it’s your guess where they will go next!  All wrapped up in red coats they linked arms and left giggling their way through the scattered chairs and flounced out the door.  Magnificent.
Of course they were well enough to get out and about and they could afford the finery, although charity shops are a great source of lots of purple and red for very little money.  Equally it’s worth considering that isolation is one of the underpinnings of depression and exacerbates dementia, so getting out there making friends is a preventative medicine.
If you haven’t read the poem ‘When I’m Old’, the point is grab life with both hands and enjoy it whilst you can.  We have no choice over how old we are, but our attitude is a choice, so I’m off to start my collection of red hats and purple clothes.  As soon as my white hair arrives I want to be ready to rock and roll.