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DON’T BE BLUE, IT’S GREAT TO BE OLDER IN 2016

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It’s damp, grey and – as of last week – absolutely freezing. The warm cheer of Christmas seems a million years ago… Instead, it’s a time of looming credit card bills and Blue Monday – today – apparently the most miserable day of the year. About the same time when the majority of diet and health resolutions fall firmly by the wayside. Dryanuary is just a memory and Veganuary never really got off the ground…

Ironically, it’s my retired late 60-something parents who are keeping the healthy vibe going still plugging away using the health gadgets that I - as a time-poor, shop-intolerant person - purchased online in the Black Friday rush. Being honest, I’m always stumped for their presents - they have pretty much everything they want – all the socks a man could use and all the scarves and skincare a woman could hope for.

This year, having covered the concept of ‘Older’ in Open Eye 26 - the primary thesis being that age is now defined by health rather than years on the clock – I reconsidered. If I wanted a New Year, New Me with my own Christmas present request of a personal DNA test from 23andme, why on earth should my thankfully very healthy, active parents want anything significantly different, just because they are older?

So, for my Dad it would be a FitBit HR, so he can monitor the effects – both positive and negative - of his newfound love for table tennis (clearly not the only one; health gadget sales have gone through the roof this year). And for my Mum, a Philips HF3510 Wake Up Lamp, so she can cope with him waking up incredibly early for the aforementioned table tennis. Entirely age-neutral presents.

So even though it’s Blue Monday, let’s look at the positive. Even as we realise that eating paleo isn’t for life (it’s not even for the whole of January!) and we’re probably never going to win an Ironman, we’re definitely entering an era when people do live better for longer and being older is finally something to celebrate, not commiserate about. And marketing intelligence firm Euromonitor agree, citing Challenging Ageing as one of their key global consumer trends of 2016. So let’s hope more brands up the ante this year and come to the same conclusions we have.

Rory Fegan is DewGibbons + Partners' Strategy Director, contact him at rory@dewgibbons.com

See our latest Open Eye: The Older Issue