3 questions with Esther Rantzen

The veteran journalist on loneliness and more.

Esther Louise Rantzen is a British journalist and television presenter, who is probably best known for presenting the television series That's Life! for 21 years on the BBC. She is also known for her extensive charity work: She set up ChildLine in 1986, followed by The Silver Line, designed to combat loneliness, in 2012. Here, she answers our questions about ageing, loneliness and assisted suicide.

 

Does society encourage us to fear ageing?

Yes, so often older people are portrayed negatively and unfairly. For instance, they are criticised as bed-blockers in hospital because too often it’s not safe for them to go home to recover from treatment or surgery, and house-blockers when they stay in homes that have become too big for them, because there are not enough safe appropriate-sized houses for them to move into.

Loneliness is a condition that blights people irrespective of age. Why have you focused on elderly peopl

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