I just wanted to tell you my story in the hope that it will help you strive for what you want.
I had my own retail business which had run its course over the years but then went into decline. So I worked in a post office and did the ICB course at the same time.(I was 53)
I completed all the modules and qualified and managed then to get a part time job at a small local Accountancy firm where I gained some experience on minimum wage.
I then kept a look out for a better position and went to work for a larger Chartered Accountants full time and over 5 years gained alot of experience in bookkeeping and payroll for many types of businesses. I also progressed to be manager of their Bookkeeping and Payroll department with a team of 6 Bookkeepers.
Two years ago (at the age of 60) I decided to leave my position and start my own practice, which was a bit of a struggle at first, but I am now in a position where I am turning work away as my time is fully alocated with the clients I have!
If you are determined to succeed then age should not be a barrier and many older people have a wealth of life experience to bring to the table.
As far as getting experience is concerned, it may be worth doing as I did and contacting small local accountants offering your services at minimum wage or free if you can afford it!
Alternatively if you go to your local ICB branch meetings you may be able to offer your services to other ICB practices to help them if they have busy times.... just a thought.
Good luck with everything, I hope it goes well for you!!