25 September 2012

POSITIVE AGEING : FIND MEANING IN OLD AGE

Generally elderly people raise a question-“how long will I live” ? The right question which one should raise is – “ if I am going to live such a long time, how can I be happy in the process “?

The common worries of elderly are- “I am losing my health”, “ I am losing the ability to take care of myself”. In late life person’s health declines, he loses youthful looks, feels functional loss and becomes physically vulnerable. There arises a gap between what he aspires to do and what he is able to do.

There are specific consequences of age related declines ,such as, memory impairment ( it can create a fear of loss of meaning as you get older), physical disability etc. Age related decline is different from decline due to disease. Age related decline occurs gradually in stages such as, dy-function, disability, dependency and death. The pathway through these four stages of ageing is unavoidable. The decline will affect you and influence your life satisfaction and well-being. This process of decline is termed as frailty which is not connected to illness and disease. Being frail means you are declining, it does not mean that you are weak or unhealthy.

When you are old society expects you to act according to your age. They have negative attitude about old age and aged. The negative attitude towards elderly ( ageism) will affect elderly what he does and how he feels about his ageing experiences.



Decline can create personal crisis of meaning in old age. How to overcome this situation?

The positive agers do not need to feel that they are less of a person or that they are not entitled to life- satisfaction and well-being just because they are old. Think optimistically about your own ageing. It will help you to shed your fears and you will be able to find out ways of happiness. Age related declines are natural processes, they do not rob your ability to feel good about living. Positive ageing is a view point that meaning is as strong in the twilight of life as it is at any other time. 

Contd.............................................................

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