Increasingly we see old people in all our families, in their 70's and 80's. Due to tremendous progress of science and invention longevity has increased as never before.
Gone are the days when young men in forties died of massive heart attack leaving the family in a state of helpless despair. Now people live long enough to see all their family duties finished as perfectly planned- children graduated, settled in satisfactory jobs, happily married and begetting children of their own.
In a country like India where men and women still get married early the eldermost couple of the family luckily live up to see the marriage of their grandchildren and enjoy the pranks of the great grand children. Their wedding anniversary easily surpasses half a century!
Awareness about health is great. Availability of health tips and aids is great. We have learnt to cope with hereditary ailments like diabetics. We have eradicated many life-threatening and crippling diseases. There are alleviatives for almost all pains and aches.
In spite of all such positive points is it after all really a happy existence for the superannuated people? The body is a bundle of aches most of the time. Daily medicine for a variety of minor and major complaints, a carefully drawn diet, restricted physical activity and lots of idle times in hand can be tiresome.
It becomes a dull life having to depend always on somebody else for all one's movement and basic activities. Lucky are those who are living with the family members. Even among those living with the family members how much space and freedom is allowed to them in this strained era of rat race for survival?
Pathetic is the condition of those who live alone or in homes. With limited physical energy sedantary lifestyle with watching the drab fare in the television is their destiny in underdeveloped countries. The luxury of surfing the net and playing online games is yet to be realised for many.
The sheer boredom breeds fear about future and death!!! The state of uncertain security and chance of getting attention from family, friends and neighbours can be a cruel experience. Besides, they thousand times more prone to domestic accidents like falls which can result in fatal fractures or lifelong bedridden state.
This being the present scenario what best can we do to make life tolerable for the very old and infirm people around us? How best can the elderly themselves tide over this trying phase of their life? The solution is in cultivating positive outlook on life, developing an attitude of tolerance and acceptance and spreading cheer around- for both old people and people who will become old people one day.