Series exploring concerns about ageing. Fiona Phillips looks at getting our motoring mojo back through driving refresher courses. And are we a nation addicted to painkillers?
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-Everything has an impact on your life.
-Whatever your age.
From the type of house we live in...
Oh, this looks nice.
Yes, it's been completely renovated throughout.
..to how much money we have to spend...
Your wage ends up being like a normal working wage, which is good.
..what we put in our bodies...
I don't think I've ever been fat-fat, but I have put weight on.
..to the secrets of our genetic make-up.
You are going to live to be 140.
That'll do - I'll take everything I can get!
So, finding out about all those things and more could help you mature brilliantly.
Or slow down the ageing process, just a little.
We've tracked down the very best tips and advice for Holding Back The Years.
And now, with the help of our team,
we're going to pass them on to you -
to show you how to have the time of your life.
Whenever that may be.
Hello and welcome to the show that says you're only as old as other people make you feel.
Mmm, isn't that the truth? Here's what's on today's show.
Is losing confidence as you reach middle or older age
affecting your driving skills?
If so, then a refresher course might be what you need.
I'll be road testing it.
Oh, crikey! Well, I was just being cautious.
-Here, yeah? Oh, no, that's a field.
-A little bit further up there.
Our resident medical man, Dr Rangan Chatterjee,
has advice on how many painkillers you should really be taking.
So pain and discomfort was seven out of ten,
and during the session it came down to one out of ten.
-Got it down to one, yeah.
-That is hugely significant.
And learning how to cook
is a problem many men from an older generation face
when they find themselves living alone.
Ainsley Harriott, however, is exploring a new course
that's turning them into kitchen kings.
-You lost your partner a few years ago.
So centres like this are really, really important.
Yeah, it gives you more confidence, and I think the sense of fun...
-..is really important in this group.
These days, driving is so much more than getting from A to B -
it's about independence, freedom, and staying socially active -
especially as we get older.
So if your confidence in getting behind the wheel goes -
mine's starting to go, I have to say, honestly, it is, it is -
luckily, there are ways of reversing things,
and getting your motoring mojo back.
As Fiona has been finding out.
There's no upper age limit
to say when we have to stop driving in the UK,
and many continue motoring very happily well into their old age.
However, for some of us,
even getting into our 50s and 60s poses real problems.
Although, to be fair, my own relationship with driving
has been somewhat problematic from the off.
# Do what you want to
# All the land we will drive, drive... #
I passed my test at 17.
Not a particularly auspicious start, it has to be said -
I hit a lorry on my first test.
I passed my second test, though, and I've been driving ever since.
I have to say, I do start thinking a bit more about journeys now -
I'm afraid that I might get lost,
or...yeah, I'm not as big and bold and young as I used to be.
I do have friends, though, who have stopped altogether,
and some who are nervous and just don't drive as much as they used to.
And, it turns out, this loss of confidence is something that affects
a lot of us as we get older.
My first pit stop today is to meet Dr Charles Musselwhite.
He's an academic from the University of Swansea,
who's studied the psychology of older drivers.
So, Charles, why do people start losing confidence in their driving
as they get older?
In terms of driving,
increased distances that they have to give, in terms of reaction time,
so that can increase up to, sort of, 10, 11,
sometimes 15, 16 times more than a younger driver,
in order to make the same decision and stop.
But also in terms of things like eyesight.
That can be a cause of a lack of confidence.
So changes in eyesight, particularly in terms of brightness.
And I think, obviously, as you say, you feel frailer,
and therefore, you can feel more vulnerable, can't you?
One of the areas older drivers do have more issues with
is turning right in the UK, across traffic coming the other way.
Older people feel under pressure from other drivers
to make the decision too quickly.
Given that they can feel under pressure -
it doesn't have to be real pressure, it can be imagined pressure of the vehicles behind -
that can make them make an error.
One solution, Charles believes, to this,
and any cognitive changes associated with ageing, is to drive slower.
But this, of course, can raise the ire of other road users,
who often sit, impatiently, at the opposite end of the age spectrum.
You know, an old chap said to me the other day,
they only have to see the flat cap on, or if I take it off,
the bald head and white hair, and they're right up behind me.
We do have that stereotype that older drivers are more ponderous,
and much slower to make decisions, but on the whole,
we find older drivers are really safe drivers.
And the statistics bear this out.
According to research by Swansea University,
drivers over the age of 70 are involved in three to four times
fewer accidents than 17- to 21-year-olds.
But what if, like me, you're not sure
whether or not you're driving as safely as you used to?
How can you find this out?
I think if you start losing a bit of confidence about your driving,
then one of the best things to do is to go and get a driver assessment
at one of your local driver assessment centres.
They're really useful for getting you to reflect on
how well you're driving, and little habits that, again,
we've all picked up through our lifetime, that, you know,
stop us being as safe as we could, perhaps.
Advice from a driving assessment centre?
Now there's an idea.
There are two different types of driver assessments -
one for people with a medical condition or disability
which affects their driving - this is provided by mobility centres.
And there's also one for people who just need
a little help and advice on how to improve their driving.
These assessments are run by organisations
such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents,
your local authority, or drop-in ones,
like the one I'm visiting today.
Check out olderdrivers.org for contact details.
This is the IAM RoadSmart centre, just outside Welwyn Garden City.
Rebecca Ashton oversees what they call a Mature Drive Review.
Rebecca, the Mature Drive Review, now, what is that?
It helps older people to get a review of their driving,
without them feeling that they're under a test or assessment
or anything like that.
OK, so what does it involve exactly, then?
It's about an hour long, and it's in their own car.
It's on routes that they're familiar with,
so we're not trying to trick them, we're not taking them
anywhere strange, so it's about building their confidence,
and keeping drivers on the road for as long as we can.
# Driving all over, so... #
Recently, the Automobile Association predicted
that by 2035,
there'll be 21 million older drivers on UK roads,
which make assessment centres like this all the more important.
But what happens if the test doesn't go so well?
There must be some people who haven't passed the test.
Yes. You will get some people that perhaps aren't quite up to standard,
but I think if they're honest with themselves,
they sort of knew that anyway.
So they come into it with wanting the help.
They want to keep their licence,
they want to keep their independence,
so we give them that review and then tell them what they need to work on
and we can even offer somebody to help them to get back up to scratch.
So this road test is not about the triumph of hope over reality.
If there are serious issues, then they're met head-on.
If somebody really is performing that badly,
then we would sort of recommend to them that perhaps they think about,
you know, handing in their driving licence.
But it's not our decision to make - it's their decision to make -
but on the other hand, we do want to encourage people to be able
to keep driving and to up their skills if necessary.
If you want to book a mature driver assessment,
there are plenty of providers throughout the UK,
with prices ranging from £35 to £55 and the reviews lasting between
one and two hours. Just ask your local council for details.
Right, well, time to road test this road test, I think -
and for that I've invited along three mature drivers,
each of whom have a very different view on their own driving abilities.
Dave, who is still trucking at 76,
Fred who is the grand age of 90, and Myrtle, who's 85.
Fred, I'll start with you.
Do you think getting older has impacted on your driving?
The way you think about driving?
-Not at all.
-Not at all?
-You're still out there trucking away.
-I love driving.
-Myrtle, what about you?
I drive because I'm going somewhere, but I don't drive for fun any more.
-No. So it's needs must, really?
-It's needs must, yep.
Dave, now this is your magnificent truck you're leaning on,
so I take it you're still enjoying driving, yeah?
Yes, yes, I still enjoy it. I probably do 1,000 miles a week.
According to the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency,
there are nearly 5 million people over the age of 70
who hold a valid licence.
These licences have to be renewed every three years
with a self-assessed declaration that they're medically fit to drive.
Are any of you more nervous than you used to be?
I don't think you get nervous, you know.
You've got to go with the traffic -
don't matter if it's busy, what it is, you just drive normal.
It's not nervousness, it's awareness now, isn't it, as you get older?
You've got to be aware of more things.
Was it last year? I took my motor over to Jersey,
picked some stuff up, but I didn't realise... It's like driving down...
There's no roads in Jersey, they're all country lanes, aren't they?
And some of the names are in French.
I got completely lost!
So it's the language rather than the roads that confused you, yeah.
Yeah, it was the language, yeah.
A bit of bloke-ish bravado from the lads, then,
but it's straight-talking Myrtle
who I can perhaps see myself turning into in a few years.
My foot started slipping off the clutch and I'd be at a road junction
and it would slip off the clutch and the engine would stall
and that was embarrassing, because I was aware there was a lot of
men drivers behind me thinking, "Silly old woman!
"If she can't control the car, she shouldn't be driving it."
However, rather than giving up driving,
Myrtle sought out a vehicle she COULD control better,
so she bought an automatic car.
This is wonderful because you cannot stall it.
-Yeah. That's the only advantage.
-A big advantage.
Yeah, it is a big advantage.
Do you think there WILL come a day when you'll have to stop?
Yeah, when I'm in my box!
They'll have to carry you out of here before you give up driving.
They'll have to carry me out of my car!
Right, well, I think we've got our three test drivers.
Let's get this show on the road, as they say.
Still to come, someone draws the short straw
and has to take their driving assessment for us all to see,
and I'll be facing my own fears, too.
-How did I do?
-How do you think you did?
Over-reliance on painkillers is one of the fastest-growing issues in
Britain today. It's estimated that one in 11 of us is on potentially
addictive prescription drugs.
But what are the signs that YOU may have crossed the line and is there
an alternative to drugs for pain relief?
Dr Rangan Chatterjee investigates.
When it comes to holding back the aches and pains of life,
sometimes the easiest thing to do is pop a pill.
It's not surprising therefore that around 10 million people in the UK
have regular prescriptions for these painkillers,
but with a staggering 400% increase in prescriptions for these drugs
in just the past ten years, thousands of us have become
accidental addicts without even realising it.
Today, I'm meeting Cathryn Kemp.
After a dose of pancreatitis and the onset of a chronic condition
called fibromyalgia, she entered a world of pain.
So there's the pain that you've got in your abdomen...
-..from the pancreatitis.
-And where's the fibromyalgia pain that you've got?
It's everywhere, it's all over my body.
Literally from the muscles of my face down through my neck, my back,
even into my hands.
And so there's always a residual level of pain -
always, 24 hours a day.
Can you tell me all the painkillers that you've taken
over the last few years?
Yes. So when I first went into hospital, I was on IV morphine.
In between doses, I was treated with tramadol.
What I was actually experiencing in hospital were withdrawal symptoms.
At the time, the medical professionals were
completely unaware, so they gave me more tramadol.
-People thought you were in more pain, so gave you more of the painkiller?
Well, they took the withdrawals away beautifully. They took away the symptoms.
Eventually Cathryn was switched to fentanyl,
an opioid painkiller which has a rapid but short-lasting result.
She began to take more and more of the drug just to get the same affect.
She became dependent and then addicted.
Was there a point when you knew that you'd hit rock bottom?
I was on 50, 55 lozenges a day.
So in the small amount of sleep that I got,
I would wake up and I would be very, very ill until I could take
six lozenges and then get into the bathroom,
take six more and by this stage, I knew that I was going to die.
And so each night, I would write a note,
put it under my pillow, because my mum was caring for me
and I knew that she will be the one to come in and find me.
So I wrote a note and I left it for her saying, you know,
But here's the twist.
Because Cathryn was neither an offender nor homeless,
she was refused NHS detox and had to sell her house
to pay for expensive private treatments, which thankfully worked.
Do you take any painkillers today?
No, I don't. No.
I think that an important part of coming off painkillers for me
was acknowledging that I live with pain.
Through her own experience, Cathryn has resolved to help others,
by forming PAIN - the Painkiller Addiction Information Network.
She has also written a book on the subject,
as her story is a striking example of how overprescription can lead
first to dependence, and then addiction.
But how do you know if you're suffering the same issue when it comes to YOUR painkillers?
Obviously, there's no one size that fits all here.
But as a GP, when I'm seeing a patient,
there are a few things that might alert me to a dependency,
or even an addiction.
You need more meds to achieve the same painkilling effects.
You worry so much about running out of your medicine,
you're obsessing about it.
You experience withdrawal symptoms
after not taking a drug or missing a dose.
If this is the case, then you should talk to your GP immediately
and they will help come up with a plan of action.
A big part of the problem, of course, is with the drugs themselves.
Why are they so addictive in the first place?
One man who might know the answer is Harry Shapiro,
who's advised the government on painkillers and other drugs.
So, why are painkillers so addictive?
Yeah, they come out from the opium poppy, most of them.
Co-codamol, tramadol, co-dydramol, co-proxamol -
all of those, they're all codeine based.
And if you trace the process from codeine back,
you finish up with an opium poppy.
So, these are actually very similar to morphine and heroin, in some way.
Yes. Yes, I mean, they're all painkillers,
and they've all, to a greater or lesser extent,
got a potential to be addictive.
You know, and even the ones, like fentanyl,
that are produced in laboratories - the reason they're addictive
is that you have to take more to get the same effect.
What's clear from the research
is that we've just reached the tip of the iceberg.
In fact, just last year, the group Harry sits on
said prescription-drug addiction has the potential to be
a huge public health disaster of the future,
and that's because more and more of us
are now having to deal with the effects of chronic pain.
The whole reason we've seen huge increases
in prescriptions for painkillers
is very much to do with the fact that we've got an ageing population.
Increasing numbers of people are going to experience
the sort of pain you experience as you get older -
you know, hips, knees, joints. Yes, they deal with the physical pain,
cos that's what they're there for,
but I've heard it described that they kind of take the rough edges
off of life and smooth things out somewhat,
and help people cope psychologically.
All of which leaves one final, crucial question...
Given how addictive these painkillers can be,
do you think there's a case to say that even the lower doses
should not be available over the counter?
We've got to be careful not to completely go the other way on this,
and say, "We're not making painkillers available to people."
And of course, now you've got Internet.
It's a problem we've got now.
You know, let alone what we're building up for the future.
It's a problem NOW that needs some form of, you know, action.
It's all very well saying that we should reduce our reliance on
painkillers - or as doctors, we should actually prescribe less -
but when a patient comes to see you in pain,
what do you give in their place?
Here's a technique that might be worth investigating.
Hypnotherapy is traditionally seen
as a way of changing conscious behaviour,
and is increasingly being used as a technique in pain management.
To explain more, Cathryn and I are meeting Dr John Butler,
a leading proponent of the power of hypnotherapy
when it comes to pain relief.
Have you seen hypnotherapy help people with chronic pain?
Oh, yes. Most of our brain is working subconsciously.
It's working to keep everything going.
Digestion, heart rate, blood pressure, you name it.
We can tap into these,
and everybody has that great ability in their brain.
But of course, they need some training.
So, Cathryn, as a patient, would have control.
Correct. The therapist helps the client to relax into the background,
that conscious, logical, rational, thinking part of their mind.
Now, it's the same part of their mind they're going into
when they're using meditation.
But with hypnosis, now, we're very proactively directing it
for our health and wellbeing or for our goals.
Now, it's a technique that interests Cathryn,
as she stopped smoking after one single hypnotherapy session 15 years ago.
But with chronic pain,
can this technique succeed where those of doctors haven't?
We're going to do an exercise here in hand levitation,
using your imagination to allow your hand to float up,
becoming very light, a wonderful light feeling, more and more comfort...
I'm going to leave these guys to it. So far, so good.
Cathryn seems to be taking to it really, really well.
Now, I pretty much bought in to what John was saying.
Cathryn's doing well so far, but let's see -
let's see how she feels at the end of the session.
Time to find out how she got on.
Cathryn, how was it?
-It was actually really good.
-Yeah, it was really good.
I was really terrified beforehand.
But I felt extremely relaxed and in a sort of great space.
We were using a control panel,
which is literally what happens in our brain -
we have sensation coming up, and where our brain is registering
the level of sensation, we can turn it down.
And I remember you saying, I got it down to one.
Seven, when I started.
So, pain and discomfort was seven out of ten
and during the session, it came down to one out of ten.
-Down to one, yeah.
Oh, yes. It's just like taking medication.
The drug wears off, so you must top it up.
But after a while, eventually, it's kind of like a permanent state.
Fantastic. You might have another tool now that can, hopefully,
maybe be one of the missing pieces for you to get you out of pain.
Absolutely - let's hope so.
Absolutely amazing. Cathryn had a significant reduction in pain
in a very quick period of time.
As a doctor, one of the basic tenets of my profession
is primum non nocere - first do no harm -
and given all the problems we're seeing from these painkillers,
maybe it's time for us to be a bit more open-minded
and consider therapy such as these,
which can significantly reduce our patients' pain
without increasing their risk of addiction.
Now then, studies regularly show
that keeping the old grey matter active with a daily puzzle
can help keep your brain healthy.
Which is why - just for fun - we've come up with our very own.
All you've got to do is watch the following clips and work out
when they all happened.
And the question - it's simple, What Was The Year That Was?
Here's how the game works.
We're going to show you a few key events that all happened
in the space of a year. But which year?
And here's why you should play along.
Psychologists have said that nostalgia can promote
a sense of wellbeing and vitality in us all.
So, this could help you hold back the years.
There couldn't be a more appropriate place to begin this campaign
than Angola, because this nation has the highest number of amputees
per population than anywhere in the world.
# Step off the train all alone at dawn
# Back into the hole where I was born... #
One of the first amazing scientific questions,
and perhaps even practical questions, is how old is Dolly?
She was born seven months ago, so maybe she's seven months old.
But her mother is six years old.
So how old is she? Is she a young lamb?
Or is she an old sheep in a young lamb's body?
To me, that's the most interesting aspect of all this research.
# All my people right here, right now
# D'you know what I mean? #
So, tell me, what was it like when you saw your first book in the shop?
That was the best moment of all.
Better than anything that's come since, was seeing it,
and it was a real book,
in a proper, real book shop and it was wonderful.
# Time to say goodbye... #
# Paesi... #
It has been the greatest honour and privilege of my life
to share your home for five years,
and to have some responsibility for your future.
Now, Hong Kong people are to run Hong Kong.
That is the promise,
and that is the unshakeable destiny.
Keep watching until the end of the show, and we'll give you the answer.
Yep. Moving on, Ainsley Harriott is with us today, he's in the kitchen,
but he's not going to do all the cooking himself.
No, that's because he's meeting the blokes who want to steal his crown
in an attempt to prove THEY'RE not past their sell-by date.
Cooking has always been part of my life.
It started when I was very young, watching and helping my mum and dad.
So, every time I'm in the kitchen, I feel the years rolling back.
# You will always find him in the kitchen at parties... #
Well, today, I'm doing something called sunny Savoy cabbage,
a dish my mum used to prepare quite a lot.
My mum encouraged us to bring people to the house - our friends.
If you walked in the door, and we were eating,
then you were encouraged to sit down and join the family.
But what's all this to do with holding back the years?
Well, I'm about to tell you.
Let me just have a little bit of a taste, first.
Look at that! Sunny Savoy cabbage. Absolutely beautiful.
And I tell you what...
..it tastes great too. Mmm!
And I'm not the only one who's using cooking for holding back the years.
You could, too. But how?
Well, meet the kitchen kings.
A scheme run by Age UK to get blokes of a certain generation,
who don't know how to cook, into the kitchen.
It's a series of classes that teaches them
how to cook for themselves, in the face of retirement,
family leaving home and also, widowhood.
Eric is 70 years of age, Gino is 66
and youngster Kante, 65.
They're all under the tutelage of Graham Clark.
The course was set up originally to help people socialise,
to help them eat better, eat more healthily, have a decent diet,
and it succeeded.
So, what do you actually do, then?
I arrive early in the morning, having been to the shops,
and picked up the ingredients for the day. The guys turn up,
we explain what we're going to do together, and then I'll show them.
Statistics say that women in UK on average spend
nearly 7.3 hours a week cooking,
whilst men, just over three and a half,
leaving an obvious culinary skills deficit for men.
And with the UK eating almost four times as much
packaged food than fresh produce,
it's highly likely that older men on their own will resort to
heating ready meals rather than cooking.
But the kitchen kings are facing this down.
Check out this menu if you don't believe me.
Savoury pancakes to start with.
Oh, savoury pancakes to start with?
Savoury pancakes with white sauce.
Er, Kante and Gino, what about main course?
-What's happening here?
-We're making meatballs and we're having...
-Spaghetti, and steamed broccoli.
They think it's a normal cooking day at the centre,
but I've got a little something up my sleeve for later.
But first, let's get to know them.
Kante is not the only one who benefits from the kitchen kings experience.
His family are loving it too.
I tend to take the recipe home and then make it for my wife
to sample and my granddaughter, and we do love cooking together,
baking simple things.
For Gino, his wife has done most of the cooking all their married life.
But after nearly 37 years together, he finally gets to surprise her.
I have taken food home as well, and my wife has loved it.
And she said, "When are you going to make it for us?"
Well, I'm not going to promise when, but I will think about it.
She's still waiting.
Sadly for Eric, he lost his partner in 2010, and soon after realised,
he needed to get out more,
which eventually led him to becoming a kitchen king.
You lost your partner a few years ago...
-..so, centres like this are really, really important to you.
Yeah, it gives you more confidence as well, because... I could cook,
but this is just expanding my sort of repertoire, if you like,
which is really...it gives you more confidence,
and I think the sense of fun...
-..is really important in this group.
I think if it wasn't fun, people wouldn't come.
But learning how to cook is about so much more than staying social
or being practical. It's about staying alive.
Just this year, figures showed a shocking one million older people
go hungry in this country,
with malnutrition costing the NHS £12 billion a year,
so, knowing what to cook is as important as how to cook it.
So I've invited nutritionist Laura Clark along
to come and meet the guys for a kitchen kings Q&A.
What's your view on organic stuff?
-Is it really as good as people make it?
Organic is not nutritionally superior.
So, organic, you know, broccoli is not going to contain
more vitamins than standard broccoli.
The benefits of cooking fresh?
We know that we're going to get far more nutrients in food
cooked in that way then buying kind of convenience food.
What are the benefits of using ginger in cooking?
That has a lot of antioxidant properties to it.
Some top takeaway for you, there,
and proof that eating to hold back the years needn't cost a fortune.
Indeed, according to reliable figures,
portions of fruit and vegetables a day could cost as little as 30p.
Right, well, you may recall I said I had something up my sleeve.
Well, it's something to counter the blokey feeling around here.
And while these guys might feel like they're kitchen kings now,
in my experience,
it's only when they pit their skills against the ladies
that they can truly be crowned.
So, please meet my queens of cuisine.
We have Diane, Helen and Patricia, aka the competition.
It's no ordinary competition,
-because there's a prize at the end of it, and the prize is...
..Ainsley's kitchen crown!
Yes, sir! In this competition between the recently inducted kitchen kings
versus the lifetime experience of the queens of cuisine,
the boys have a menu of savoury pancakes,
spicy meatballs with broccoli,
whilst the girls are cooking ratatouille,
chicken in ginger and lemon with roasted vegetables.
And it's not long before the temperature starts rising.
I think the boys are feeling a little bit uneasy -
look, there's a little pack going on here, a bit of a row.
Yours going to be ready before mine. This isn't going to be ready.
Watch yourself! Hot water coming through,
hot water coming through! When it was just you boys,
there was a relaxedness. Now the girls are in tow,
I'll tell you what, all of you are getting a little bit ooooh!
It's great to see the guys getting stuck in,
not only enjoying themselves, but learning a valuable new skill.
Because it's fair to say that in some areas,
us blokes struggle as we get older, especially in the domestic sphere.
But this isn't just about today - it's about the future, too.
According to new research conducted by the International Longevity Centre,
the number of older men living alone is expected to rise from 911,000
to over 1.5 million by 2030.
So unless you face the prospect of ordering takeaways
for the rest of your life, you'd better get into the kitchen now.
Time, though, to see if this generation are fit
to be crowned today's winners.
The boys are presenting their savoury pancakes, meatballs,
pasta and broccoli first.
Enjoy your meal.
I could probably eat two of these.
This would be quite good for a lunch,
particularly if you serve it with a side salad or something.
Wholewheat, wholemeal spaghetti?
Yeah, wholemeal spaghetti, which is a really good shout, actually.
Really, really easy way to get a little bit more fibre in the diet.
Encouraging! Next up are the queens of cuisine, with ratatouille,
chicken in ginger and lemon, served with roasted vegetables and rice.
Once you put a little bit of squash or courgette or whatever it is
into a dish like this, it's just, it's quite satisfying, isn't it?
There's a fresh, zingy, lemony flavour to this which I really like.
Yeah, it's lovely. And it's important for older people
to remember they need protein, ideally at each meal.
So, you know, it's a really versatile option, chicken.
You can't really go wrong with it.
Oooh, it's going to be a difficult choice.
And as our chefs join us to polish off the fruits of their labours,
it's time for their grand coronation,
but will we have kings or queens?
All of us found it quite difficult judging, actually,
because we were impressed with the nutritious value of it.
We just thought that the colourfulness of it,
the presentation, there was care everywhere.
So without further ado, who walks away with the crown of the kitchen?
And guess what? Each of you will wear this for two months each,
because we can't make up our mind!
Two, four, six, eight, ten, 12.
Who's going to start off first?
Do you know what? It's been an absolutely cracking day
and I'm so... I so appreciate the fact
that places like this actually exist.
And it just proves that, regardless of your age,
regardless of how old you are,
it's so important that you learn how to cook from a practical,
from a health perspective - all of those things are really, really,
important and more importantly, socially - look at that.
A real social gathering.
So if you're ready, get steady - come on, let's get cooking.
Earlier in the show, I set out on a journey to look at
how diminishing self-confidence affects our driving skills
as we get into middle and older age.
So far, it's been all theory,
now it's time to put it to the road test.
There are currently nearly 5 million drivers
over the age of 70 in the UK, but many people are
hanging up their car keys because they don't feel
as confident behind the wheel as they used to.
Older people feel under pressure from other drivers.
It doesn't have to be real pressure,
it can be imagined pressure of the vehicles behind,
that can make them make an error.
Luckily, there are places to go
where you can have your driving skills assessed and reviewed.
It helps older people to get a review of their driving,
without them feeling that they're under a test.
So it's about building their confidence
and keeping drivers on the road for as long as we can.
So, one of our three older drivers
is about to put this road test to the road test.
Hi. Fancy seeing you here!
Now, what do we do now?
Myrtle, Fred and Dave have over 100 years of driving experience
between them, and now one of them is going to be given the chance
to have their skills assessed.
First up, all of them get an induction.
Good morning, everyone.
What we're doing today is we're going to do a little taster
of what the mature driver review is all about.
Once a driver reaches the age of 70, their licence expires,
but this doesn't mean they're required to take the driving test again.
All they have to do is renew it,
but instructor Maxine thinks the benefits of identifying any issues
with your driving as early as possible is invaluable.
I know I'm bad on the brake.
I know I'm using the brake too hard and too early,
but I can't stop myself at the moment.
That's something we talk about when we coach people
as the consciously incompetent.
-You know you're doing something wrong,
-but you can't fix it and it gets very frustrating.
Dave, who still drives a truck,
has found his attitude towards driving changing recently,
in spite of travelling nearly 1,000 miles a week.
Even in the last two or three years, you know,
-everybody's push, push, push.
I still like it, but it's not as pleasurable as it used to be.
And Fred, who's 90, is happy as he is.
-Anything you'd like to improve about your driving?
-In my mind,
-I'm doing good.
-But in your mind, I might be doing it all wrong,
-I'd never know. Until I find out.
-OK, fair enough!
So, Myrtle, you don't enjoy driving.
Is that because you don't feel so confident these days on the roads?
I don't think so.
I often drive with friends, and I'm being a bit too cautious.
A bit too cautious, yeah.
Yes. I don't know, can you be a bit too cautious?
-I don't know.
-You can at times, actually.
-Sometimes, if you're too cautious, you can actually
enrage other drivers behind you and that can cause a safety issue.
So, yeah, there is such a thing as being too cautious.
And finally, Maxine has a few top tips for our drivers.
So here's some general advice for the more mature driver.
Firstly, regular eyesight checks - really important.
The second tip is, leave plenty of time for your journey -
you don't want to be rushing to get to that appointment,
and avoid rush-hour.
Thirdly, really important - if you're on any medication,
just check with your GP that that medication
allows you to drive safely.
Some medication obviously makes you drowsy and you may be recommended
not to drive. So, something to check with your GP.
In 2015, almost 17,000 drivers over the age of 70 had their licences
revoked or refused because they were deemed unfit to drive
by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
Having your driving skills assessed is one way of becoming aware of
issues and how to improve, as one of our drivers is about to find out.
So who would like to learn a little bit more and take the test?
-Would you, Dave?
-Yeah, I don't mind.
-What about you?
-I know I've got lots of faults,
so perhaps I ought to have them pointed out to me.
OK. And Fred?
If I'm fortunate enough to do it, it'd be great.
Time to see who'll be lucky enough to draw the short straw.
Myrtle, it's you!
-Oh, aren't I lucky!
Did we rig that?
Hmm! I'm saying nothing!
First test for Myrtle is her eyesight.
-Right, so we're ready to hit the road now.
Good luck, Myrtle!
85-year-old Myrtle has been driving for 56 years
and only recently changed her manual car for an automatic
because she found using the clutch increasingly difficult.
But clearly this shift of gears has left her feeling
less confident behind the wheel.
-That was a very bad start. I apologise.
absolutely everyone gets nervous. No, that's absolutely fine.
And after that false start,
it's clear Myrtle's keen to be driving teacher's pet!
This will be a 30 limit, won't it?
-That's right, yeah.
-I'm very careful to keep within the speed limits.
Good to hear, Myrtle, because most nasty accidents occur
on 30mph roads where people are speeding -
although, going too slow can be a danger, too.
I love it when they go past.
Well, don't slow down too much, Myrtle!
Driving too slow is also an offence.
We're nearly back.
-That's all right, watch the kerb!
Don't know how I managed that.
The wanderers return.
Sit down again.
-Right, there we are.
-There we go.
Now let's hear the worst.
No, no, I want to know how YOU think YOU'VE done first of all.
-How do you think you've done?
-Not very well.
I hit the kerb on one occasion, which I never do usually.
-I braked too soon, so I was too slow at turnings and at roundabouts,
so everyone behind me was probably saying rude words.
But what about the rest, Maxine?
Well, I have to say, what I think you're missing, Myrtle,
-is a bit of confidence.
-That is quite likely.
I think what one of your problems is, the braking, especially -
which you said yourself -
you're braking too soon and you're braking too hard,
because you haven't got that confidence to see
that you have got room to stop.
You know, there's no way I would say you're totally unsafe.
I think it's just you need a little bit more guidance,
-to give you that confidence on the road.
And for those who weren't listening in the back seat,
here are our top tips.
If you feel you're losing your confidence behind the wheel,
get yourself assessed and let the professionals take a view.
You might be pleasantly surprised.
When it comes to driving, health and safety do go together.
In particular, make sure you can see properly
and that your medication allows you to drive.
And finally, don't let other road users affect you -
let THEM do what THEY do and you do what you do.
Now, I know what you're thinking.
This day started with me telling you I was, well,
sort of nervous about my own driving,
so shouldn't I get it assessed while I'm here?
Well, that did happen. Enjoy!
Why's it not doing much?
-The handbrake's on, that's why.
-Yeah, that's why.
-Oh, this way.
-Yeah, I'm afraid so.
-I'll knock them over.
-Oh gosh, there's a pigeon.
-Mind the pigeon!
Stop flapping. Stop the pigeon!
Yikes! It seems that everything's getting in my way today.
Maybe I'm really not as good a driver as I thought I was.
I am, I am! I guess I'll have to wait until the end
when Maxine gives me my score.
It goes really slow, doesn't it?
-That's because you're in a 40.
You don't need to change gear.
No, I'm changing gear.
I've got dry lips. I'm sure it's nothing to do
-with me being given a warning!
-I was just being cautious.
-Are we here yet?
-Oh, no, that's a field.
-A bit further up, yeah!
-Take a left there.
-Oh. We were going to go left there, but never mind, keep going.
-Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry.
It's all right, we'll go round again.
Oops! I didn't see that at all!
So, Maxine, what do you reckon, out of ten?
Well, considering you didn't know the car and you didn't like
the automatic and you hadn't driven the car before,
-I think I'd give you a seven.
OK, a seven. If it's good enough for Len,
it's got to be good enough for me.
Quickly, time for the answer to our What Was The Year That Was archive quiz.
-Fiona, what was it?
-The year that was was 1997.
Ah, the year Tony Blair and Labour took over government here.
Oh, yeah, OK. End of the show.
Join us tomorrow, when things really can only get better.
# Can only get
# Things can only get better
# Can only get better
# Now I've found you
# Things can only get, can only get
# Things can only get better
# Can only get better
# Now I've found you. #
Everything has an impact on how well we live, whatever our age. From the type of house we live in to how much money we've got to spend, what we put in our bodies and the secrets of our genetic make-up. So finding out about all those things - and more - could help you mature brilliantly. Or slow down the ageing process, just a little. We've tracked down the very best tips and advice for holding back the years. And now, with the help of our team, we're going to pass them on to you. To show you how to have the time of your life, whenever that may be.
Hosted by Bill Turnbull, Fiona Phillips and Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Holding Back the Years is a lifestyle magazine show looking at how to stay well, live longer and be healthy - whatever age you are.
In this episode, Fiona Phillips looks at how we can get our motoring mojo back through driving refresher courses, and Dr Rangan Chatterjee asks if we are a nation addicted to painkillers.