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“Make sure you know what you want to do, and be determined to do it” – older women share their wisdom

March 7 2019


To celebrate International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March, 12 female care home residents across the UK have been sharing the advice they’d give to their younger selves.

The ladies, aged between 82 and 93, also shared what they think young women today should know.

The advice overwhelmingly focused on being yourself and enjoying life to the full, with most women advising to trust yourself and strive for your dreams. Margaret Crowther, 91, said: “Make sure you know what you want to do, and be determined to do it”.

Anne Gallagher, aged 82, agreed, adding: “Go for it, go for what you want to do – and give it your best shot.”

The ladies also advised compassion and humanity, with Rita Atkinson, aged 87, saying she’d ask women of today to: “Always to be truthful, and most of all, always to be kind and understanding.” Mary Scates, aged 92, thought this was important too: “Be honest to other people, to yourself - just be yourself. Enjoy yourself, without doing any harm to anybody else”.

For Pam Alleyne, aged 85, the most important life lesson was to remember that life is too short – she said she would advise her younger self: “Live every moment and take each day as it comes, because nobody knows how long we’ve got”. 

International Women’s Day is a global day which has been marked since 1911, and celebrates women’s achievements while calling for a more gender-balanced world. 

Jacqui White, marketing director at Care UK, said: “International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the successes and stories of women, and we want society to recognise the wealth of expertise and knowledge stored in the minds of older ladies like those in our video. We’re proud to have created a platform on which a group of older women  have shared their most valuable life lessons for young women today and hope that other individuals and organisations will follow our lead.

“It was wonderful to hear about the lives of women who lived through a social revolution, witnessing the changing attitude towards equality – but also to hear that the attitude of determination was fiercely alive in these women at a time when equality wasn’t a given.

“The residents enjoyed sharing their advice.  Researching, filming and watching the video has been a really valuable reminiscence activity prompting lots of interesting conversations in our homes. It’s been wonderful for residents to share their life experiences and memories, and we hope young women today agree that their wisdom is valuable and inspiring.”

To view the life lessons video please visit:

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