Jul 072018

     WHO ARE THE AGED?

The aged or  elderly may appear sporty and look young but when the chips are down things take their rightful places.So which class of people are regarded as the aged? In the first place, the term The Aged has different conotations  Some use it to mean old people, old age . senior citizens, the aged amongst others. It refers to the class of people after the middle age. And their age varies from 60 to 100 years There are few cases of people who live up to 125 or 140 years. These are exceptional cases.

CHARACTERISTIC LIFE STYLES

The characteristics of the aged vary according to the social environment they live.  Those in some developing countries where they lack adequate medical attention are often plagued with different diseases and without correct diagnosis and medication. In such countries one sees 65 year olds unable to walk without the aid of a walking stick

Their couterparts in advanced countries still go to work at 73. Their motto is: age is not in numbers but in the mind, meaning that one is as old as one thinks. But when the chips are down, when the cells concede to the sunset of life the inevitable has to take place. 

So among the experiences of ageing include being susceptible to different aiments, injuries,  the tendency of the bones becoming smaller  and the joints shrinking , developing chronic diseases, inability to mentain dental health leading to tooth decay and attendant infection. The ageing experience has much to do with the digestive system.At times the old person misintepretes their metabolic mechanism. They eat a little morsel of food their stomach is full and then as little as the food was they experience digestion problem. in many occasions the geriatric clinic would prescibe some stool softener for them

Although eyesight problems cut across age groups the aged are more prone  to suffer from them. In the younger generation  the application of eye drops and wearing of corrective eye glasses often take care of their problem. Not so with the elderly whose eye problem  is chronic due to the death of the cells. Such elderly people suffer  the rest of their lives with glaucoma or cataract or both.

The research for this article has taught me more about my own problem  I was carrying  my shopping bags to the car at Wal-mart a few days ago   in the hot sun when someome walked to  me and asked me if I was okay. I told him I was okay and we moved on our differnt ways. But ever since I have been thinking about the incident. I am 73+ and now found out that my gait has changed and can not walk the way I used to in earlier years.And when somebody says something to me I oten told the person that I did not hear what was said. Now I know hearing impairment  among the elderly is part of the ageing process.I cannot turn the wheel The sun is setting  gradually and gracefully. What an ageing experience!

The average senior citizen is encouraged to  take medications regularly and often the medications are multiple. They need to take medications for high blood pressure a condition common  among the aged , they need to take medications for immune boosting to avoid falling prey to infections, and pain relievers. The aged are fond of feeling pains in diffferent parts of their bodies from joint pains headaches, you name it they have them. But that is the fun of ageing!.  

 Loneliness is part of the experiences of old age. Some families prefer to rent apartments  for their aged parents and some in senior living homes There is viertually no much difference between the two options apart from the cost.. In some cultures . grand parents,(grandmothers), live with their children and are fully occupied with looking after the grandchildren.

I was in  a discussion with a group of friends on  whether the aged has anything to contribute to life or just theyare just there   waitng for the last day. I bought my laptop some years ago when I did not know what I would use it for. Then I started writing conference papaers for an association and then the internet stuff came. There are so many retirees out there who are busy reading or writing about their experiences of life in their work place or of life in general. 

Some see the elderly as unnessary burden on their chidren. That is one side of the coin. The other side is to appreciate the fact that many of them are on one form of pension or the  other and the fact that  those of them that are  not brought down by serious illness are working even though their pay is small. Those writing their memoirs have royalties to supplement what their children’s assistance come up with. 

The internet has not made the writng of books outdated. It has rather enhanced it. Do not be surprised that the Bill Gates of the world when they retire from their different businesses and consulting portfollios will be writing memoirs for posterity

The ageing experience is a new lease of life.


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