Friday, March 13, 2009

Senior Citizens: Who will care for them?

By and large, societies around the world are slowly aging, and this is creating its own unique challenges to care for this segment of our population. In your country or culture, what is the current situation of senior citizens:

  • Are many of them finding it necessary to work?
  • Do seniors often live alone or with family in their old age?
  • Do you have a grandparent that lives or lived with you?
  • What lessons of life can the elderly teach the youth of your country?
Please share your ideas.

Randall

7 comments:

Bruno/Ingrid said...

Due to the current economic situation in our country more and more senior citizens cannot afford to retire. In fact, most of them work two jobs in order to make ends meet. It's a common reality in Brazil for the oldest in the household to provide food and pay for the bills because the youth are having a hard time trying to get a job. As to their wisdow, as awkward as it might sound, we don't value and look up to the elderly as we should - which is a pity because they have so much to teach. I think it's a cultural thing. It's not like China where the elderly always have a say over different issues.

szolive said...

As our country China is large of population. In city, retiring age women who are worker over 50 years old,managers over 55 years old, Men all over 60 years old. They can get annuities of social security after retiring. Some senior citizens who have high tech or skill choose to continue work in order to be full their time in live, no as money. Some senior citizens have to work as their children couldn't support their life by themself. A lot of seniors live with their children to help their children's family doing housework or take care of grandson and granddaughter. But in the further, many senior will live alone as there is only one child in family. The experience of life of the elderly can teach the youth to live in good lifestyle. In our goverments are progressing to improve how to ensure seniors having good live in their last years.

stout said...

In my country China, some but not many senior citizens will keep working after retirement. There will usually be some money (no matter much or little) in our senior’s pockets,because “saving money for any possible future needs or accidents” is a kind of traditional dogma which is deep into people’s mind here. Some seniors are back into work because they do not want to be idle and useless, dough is one of reason but apparently not be the most important one. My dad is doing his job now with the “salary” which is less than 1000 RMB per month after his retirement. I guess he just like to have people to chat with and be around sometime. And I believe taking care of grandchildren is the most popular and main “job” for Chinese seniors nowadays. Many youth even leave their babies to their parents who live in the different cities for several years, which is ridiculous in my opinion. Most of Chinese seniors (not 70-year old I mean) really enjoy that “job” and see it as a natural and happy thing. They move to totally new city and become the full-time baby-sister and housekeeper willingly. At least that is always my mom’s dream!
I think more and more seniors in china now live alone. Yesterday they left homeland and parents to struggle for better life and today their children do the same thing. Even though the whole families are in the same city and are close to each other, young people want the free and independent time and space, so do the old. In my plan, I will take my parents live with me when they are too old to take care themselves, at least we will live in the neighbor, I mean I can get their house in 10 mins and see them anytime I want or they want. Thus nursemaids who will do housework and look after old people’s daily lives when we are absent are necessary. Taking care of four parents and our own children in the future is not easy for my husband and me. But as the only child in each family, that is what we have to face and I am sure we can handle it well.I had lived with my grandfather for several years and he is the only one who wanted to live with my family, the other grandparants did not like to leave their own home. I was almost spoiled by my grandfather, whatever I wanted whatever I asked he would try everything to make me satisfied.And my parants even could not blame me in front of him!I love him very much.
As to the lessons the seniors can teach us, I think it depends on the knowledge and the experiences the senior had.But we really can learn something from them,especially from those strong positive and smart guy who is always full of hope.

SONIA said...

I´m spanish and I´m a bit worried about the future because it´s difficult to support all the senior citizens spend (or, at least, that seems according the experts). It´s outrageous, due to the huge effort they have made during all their lifes. My parents and grand-parents started working at 15 years old! Have they wait to 65 years old to the retirement?

Anonymous said...

Apparently, we are facing with the growing of the aging population more and more. Now, with the supports of the scientic and technical achievements, people can last their lives longer.

In general, the average age of the retirement is 60 for men and 55 for women. In fact, in the cities, they all want to continue working, not for money but for their need of communication, passion of working and many other reasons. For instance, at the age of 60, my father has to retire, I remember that he was so sad and fell ill. One year later, he found a job and now he is OK. It is clearly that he works now not for the money but for his leisure.

In Vietnam, the majority of senior lives with their family in their old age. So, my husband 's parent really want to live with us. I find that will make our parent comfortable and safe but it is complicated when we live together with the difference of characters and views. Obviously, that limites young couple 's fredoom and privare life. Otherwise, with their experience, the elderly can teach us alot about how to avoid failures, mistakes in the life or they can give us useful advises to live better.

mhmarfil said...

This particular topic touches my heart and my situation so I enjoyed reading the comments. I try to gain insights. We can learn a lot from the elderly. I learned to try to plan ahead and save no matter how difficult it might be. I've seen the mistake of my mom who now relies on just her social security pension which, sadly, is not enough. She lives in deep poverty and in want, it actually drag me too & my daughter to this same situation. I try to save as much as I can and save for more pension coverages and medical coverage though lately pensions & health insurances are hot topics and widely debated on the question of until when can it last. That is pretty scary. I don't wish to live too long as I might not have many relatives or kids to take care of me when it's my turn. I am an only child, I see the mistakes of being born as one child in the family. Worse, I am a single parent & I have one daughter too. At my age it might be difficult to bear another child, besides I don't have a husband or a boyfriend right now. I'm neck-deep in caring for my mom, juggling 2 jobs and caring for my grade school child. It's not easy. I see the mistakes of being an only child. I wish I'd have brothers or sister and I wish the same for my daughter. The future will be so bleak, scary and very difficult for my daughter if she remains alone to care for me and for herself when she becomes old too. I wish her the best and to have a strong family support in the future. I wish for her to have many kids and to have a good loving husband who makes for a good, responsible partner in life for her. We say jokes among my cousins that being women, we don't want to live beyond 60 yrs old if we will just become senile, useless and a source of irritation to family & relatives. When it's our turn, we all agree we pray for God's provision to take care of us and give us a good night's rest once and for all so that we won't have to endure a useless life on diapers & medication. It just wastes the many years that we have saved. It's best to enjoy the savings while having a good health. After that, it's time to rest and not to bother our families with the ever increasing costs of maintaining elderly who burns through the pockets. It's best to enjoy a shorter, meaningful and productive life rather than wish for a long, meaningless life full of anxieties about the future and many other worries & fears.

Nathália said...

Nowadays there are many seniors living in our society. I think that this number is increasing since I was born and this situation makes me think who will care for them in the future.

Firstly, the senior citizens are people who were young one day and deserve a lot of comprehension. Besides, we can learn about life with them enjoying their advises and worries.

However, in the current days people do not take care of the elderly. For these reason, I think that us, like sons, must to think better about taking care of ours grandfathers and grandmothers to make the old age less sad.

Particullarly, I am an only child and I have a big responsability with my parents because they will have only me to take care of them in the old age. Fot this reason, I fell very worried about this situation.

To sum up, we must take care of the senior citizens because they could be our grandfather, grandmother or even our parents. So we have to start to think now in how to make better their lives and move to make this dream come true as fast as we can!

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