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60 minutes
Brian Woods & Kate Blewett
Executive Producer:
Brian Woods & Kate Blewett

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In 1997 Prime Minister Tony Blair promised the nation that there would be no forgotten people in the Britain he would build.
Old is an investigative documentary from Kate Blewett and Brian Woods (Eyes of a Child, Slavery and The Dying Rooms) that shows that being old and forgotten are tragic, undeniable realities for many people in Blair's Britain. Through a handful of characters we are given an insight into a grim future that could await any one of us.
Edie was a victim of "elder-abuse" - beaten, urinated over and generally terrorised by her son-in-law: just one of many thousands of victims of this type of unreported domestic abuse. She eventually escaped to the sanctuary of a council run old folks' home, but cuts in social services budgets mean her home is now going to be closed and Edie is facing eviction.
Eugene is a silent prisoner in his own flat. At 77 he is taunted by the children on the estate and has been repeatedly burgled. He sits alone in the dark, with chaos and disorder all around him. Eugene described his life; "I’m just waiting to die".
71 year old Sheila is confined to her wheelchair. Today she sleeps on the streets of London after being thrown out of her home by the local authority because she fell behind with her rent after her husband died. Most nights she cry’s herself to sleep.
Fred, worked undercover in occupied Europe during the war. Now seeing out his days in a room 10ft by 7ft in Europe’s largest hostel for the homeless. He is one of the few people still alive to have been born in a workhouse. We follow Fred as he sets out to make one last journey before he dies.
1000 old people die alone and unnoticed in their flats every month. This is what happened to Margaret. Her body was not discovered for weeks. In the chaotic papers that she left behind we find evidence of a rich and varied life, she spoke several languages and had lived on three different continents. But in her last years she was alone and isolated. As the council worker clearing Margaret's flat says, "But for the grace of god, it could be me."
This beautifully shot and haunting film proves that, in these modern times, old age can still be a very scary place.

  • Over 180,000 old people are physically abused in their own homes every year
  • An old person falls victim to crime every 24 seconds
  • Every week 10 more care homes are closed
  • Over 48,000 old people are homeless in the UK
  • Last yearover 12,000 care home beds were lost

We made Old because we wanted to make a difference. You can too: scroll down for information about Helpful Organisations.

Action on Elder Abuse
1268 London Road
SW16 4RE
Helpline: 080 8808 8141

Change a Life Campaign
(Government Rough Sleeping Unit)
Helpline: 0845 60 61 62 3

(Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and
Families Association , Forces Help)
19 Queen Elizabeth Street
Tel: 020 7403 8783

Residents and Relatives Association

5 Tavistock Place
Tel: 020 7692 4302
Advice line: 020 7916 6055

Contact the Elderly
15 Henrietta Street
Covent Gardens
freephone : 0800 716543
tel: 020 7240 0630

Help the Aged

207-221 Pentonville Road
N1 9UZ
Tel: 020 7278 1114

Salvation Army
101 Newington Causeway
SE1 6BN 020 7367 4500


Helpline 0808 800 4444
For regional offices

Counsel and Care

Twyman House
16 Bonny St
Tel: 020 7485 1550

Disability Advice and Welfare News
64 Bickerstaffe Street
St Helens
WA10 1DH
Freephone 0800 0730171


Warwick House
25/27 Buckingham Palace Road
Tel 0870 011 3335

National Homeless Alliance

5 15 Cromer Street
Tel: 020 7713 2861


National Council for Aging Care
Tel: 887 664 6140