In this extract Jim Quinn says that he is the longest living of the males in his family. He remembers that when he was a child he used to think a man of 60 was old. He attributes this to the fact that people are living much longer nowadays and living conditions have improved enormously. In particular he points out that the standards of food and living accommodation have risen dramatically in his lifetime and this has the effect of increasing life expectancy as well as quality of life in general.

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And what age did you used to think people became old at you know?

I don’t know exactly, we used to say an old man was 60 and probably people were old at 60 in them days because our… we’re living longer, I probably am now the oldest of the males in my family that I can recall... that I knew, I’m probably older than them… of course there’s two things to that - the food and the amount was important and living in decent accommodation, you know, having heat and decent clothes, I mean when I was a kid there was very few with great coats, you could buy a Burberry or that… you can imagine, you probably come to work on the Dart or something like that…

On the Luas…

Or the Luas or the bus or something… can you imagine walking half the time when there was none of those things? With the rain we’ve had in the last month sure you’d be wet all the time, when you got in there’d be no heat, you know what I mean? If it was a factory or… a factory’d probably be a place but in offices, you know, offices… I remember when I went to Westland Row school over there there were times that the heating would go off in the middle of winter and they didn’t send you home or anything… we were always hoping they would but they didn’t!


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Ageing, Expectations



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"Jim Quinn talks about the increased quality of life expectancy for older people now compared to when he was a child.." Lifescapes: Mapping Dublin Lives, Item #140 (accessed February 21 2018, 7:31 am)