It was with interest and a little yelling at the TV screen that I watched the second series of BBCs ‘Real Marigold Hotel’. The TV ‘reality’ show where U.K. celebrities, armed with a TV crew venture to the south Indian state of Kerala to explore retirement in India. Viewers were treated to panoramic views and sumptuously expensive penthouse apartments. Yet less than 10% of older people in India live this way. 90% of the population do not retire and have to work into late old age until disability or illness stops them earning a living. When this happens, there is no choice but depend on others like family for their physical and economic needs. However, millions of older people in India do not have families meaning many are forced into destitution or are institutionalised in free residential care…if there is any space. Whilst India is experiencing an unprecedented development in fee-charging residential care, this type of living arrangement is only available to healthy older people in receipt of incomes. Destitute and disabled older people without family support face choices between fending for themselves (a tender way of saying ‘ begging on the streets’) or else waiting for an available space at a charity-run care home. It was with frustration that I watched the BBC film crew deftly manoeuvre themselves out of the way of an Indian older woman holding out her hand in an act of begging. Sadly, the celebrities ignored her too and worryingly, British viewers were spared the harsh reality for life as an older person in a different culture.