Mr Sen is 35 years old, energetic, out on a jog preparing to run a marathon.
Mr Sen is now 55 out on a morning walk, taking brisk steps but at a moderate pace.
Mr Sen at 75 walks gently cautious, a walking stick in his hand.
He is today a senior citizen, his activities have become more tentative. Fortunately his wife and he live in a community of apartment blocks, his son lives elsewhere but at least in the city. He considers himself blessed.
True…. Aging and seniority often bring on insurmountable worries…health issues, financial constraints, lack of companionship, loneliness sometimes leading to depression and an aching sadness. Life in the twilight zone can be overwhelming in its feeling of desolation. It’s easy to curl up and turn ones face away, but that is not an answer at all.
It is necessary to put up a good fight to the very end.To fight ones fears ,to remain in touch with the surroundings,certainly not to abdicate.
What makes one aged…the biological number is 60years and above, albeit the heart may be young as it is said, if wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. But a fact is a fact that age creeps, one is never ready…. life would be much happier if we were born 80 and then approached 18!
The population census prepared by Help Age forecasts that by 2026 senior citizen population will be 173 million. By 2050 we will beat China in the area of the Aged and seniors.The government needs programmes to handle this.
Meanwhile what can one do for oneself…?
Answer …Activity. Yes activities embracing the mind and the body and the spirit.
However before any physical exercise regimen, medical advice is required .Also consider age and mobility.
For the body
- Walk moderately, about 150 hours a week.
- Light exercises at home for those who cannot go out, yoga, taichi.
- To prevent muscle wasting, lifting of things at home, housework which will not put pressure on the knees and back
- Household chores like marketing, going to the bank or even cleaning cupboards and drawers
All such physical activities also occupy the mind In terms of concentration, planning, calculating etc. As the body moves so does our mind.
For the mind
- Chat sessions, talking with people, to people, listening to those around all help in sharing smiling, and crying together. These chat sessions help us appreciate, understand, sympathize, empathize with each other. This will give us a better understanding of me/myself.
- Involvement in community functions both as a spectator and as a participant. Getting into organizing events even in a small way is great for the mind.
- Volunteering in a neighborhood association gives an opportunity for social interaction. And social interaction in any form is medicine for the mind.
- All the above are essential towards communicating with the world around us to save ourselves from self pity and depression which is the bane of old age.
- Hobbies, like reading, learning a new skills like use of computers, or practicing old skills like singing or knitting also gives the mind food for thought. These mindful activities uplift our spirits.
For the spirit
- The spirit of living .living well is like the engine oil lubricating our inner selves.
- The spirit is the provider of inner strength .Good spirit, and a fighting spirit helps sustain one through thick and thin.
- Routine is a must .This brings in a certain commitment, less time to brood and a sense of purpose.
- Meditation and attending religious discourses can certainly be fulfilling.
- If body and purses permit there is nothing like travelling to cheer one up. Group travel is both reassuring and fun.
- Finally laughter is truly the best medicine….both at you and at the outside world.As long as one is alive it is better to live life, enjoy it, or else one will die many deaths every day.
It is said Old age is like a plane flying through a storm, once you’re aboard, there is nothing you can do except ride the storm!
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