I do plan for my future until I take care of my parents. By the way, my parents are both fit and can handle most of their daily tasks with ease. I’m not expressing from taking care of immobility seniors. Yet, they are “fragile” as our physical conditions have changed, they need extra care so as to avoid unnecessary and unwanted injury that could cause inconvenience to themselves or care givers. I sometime tell them they are “back to baby stage” where we assist them or give extra care to them just like we care for babies.
Both my parents hold totally different view on life after retirement or senior life. My dad was always active, being taught on Confucianism, he wanted to give back to society. He devoted most of his time on establishing and managing a local association, organizing various programs for the benefits of local people, setting up kindergarten, etc.
As he loved and liked to preserve the Chinese language teachings, he read news, attended seminars and conferences and wrote articles on them. He even published a book depicting the development of Chinese language in Malaysia. He also did lots of charity contribution especially to Chinese schools on regular basis.
The most common phrase out of him was “I don’t have enough time!” At first, I couldn’t grasp the idea seeing him being so busy. By the way, my dad knew how to balance between work and play. He went overseas to places he liked. Looking back, I appreciate my dad for he demonstrated how a fulfilled life would be. Though busy, he enjoyed what he was doing. He was energetic and enthusiastic when he engaged in his activities. He was so capable and smart that we never worried about him.
Yet, everything starts slowing down when he aged. This is when he entered the challenging senior life. We may have dreams and responsibilities to carry out, but we are then limited by our bodily conditions. We move slower, respond slower and think slower. We are prone to illness and fall sick more easily. This is when we need assistance of others. Life at this stage could be annoying and frustrating as you need care and help from others. For some, it is unacceptable and thus, live a lonely and helpless life. For others, they embrace the old age and make adjustment as need arises.
For me, I am grateful I encounter these two types of people who treat senior life differently. Though as an adult, we try to do things ourselves without disturbing or troubling others. It is not the case for seniors. Understanding your conditions and asking for help is an inner power one should possess. Nature has shown us this fact but it is simply neglected by us. Human life starts as baby who needs to be nurtured and cared, then ends our life with aging senior who also needs care and assistance too. Therefore, being old age, we need to accept assistance gracefully and ask for help if need arises. Others would not know our limitation unless we tell them, just like my parents.
So, do we need to plan for our senior life? Definitely, but take into consideration how our physical changes may limit our movement that require assistance, how this assistance is being met and how you ask for it. Most importantly, embrace your old age, have right mindset and positive attitude, and enjoy a simple yet happy senior life.