We often hear about octogenarians, those folk aged between 80 and 89. Being an octogenarian is an achievement of an advanced age beyond our allocated three score years and ten (according to Psalm 90) so is something to be celebrated:

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

But becoming a quinquagenarian, being fifty-something, a person aged between 50 and 59 years, is not an achievement that is happily celebrated. Being fifty is generally accepted as being the beginning of late middle age – not a milestone to be welcomed. Youth has flown away.

The effects of ageing have become undeniable; quinquagenarians have found their eyesight has deteriorated, their muscles ache and their memory  is disappearing in a process of cognitive decline.

Quinquagenarians have started to realise that the process of ageing is inevitable. So they have started thinking about activities recommended to minimise the decline including staying mentally active (for instance, by reading word-of-the-week blogs), staying socially active, exercising, reducing stress, and maintaining a good diet.

Although there is no cure for ageing, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have recently discovered that feeding old rats a combination of acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid has rejuvenated the rats. The research leader reported “these old rats got up and did the Macarena”. These supplements are available from health food stores.

However, Oscar Wilde probably summed it up for the majority of quinquagenarians when he wrote:

To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.