I was speaking recently to a younger friend who was expressing his frustration at his father who is in failing health. This friend’s frustration arises from the fact that he knows that his father’s main problem is lack of motivation. He is now in his late 70s and shuffling around his unit on a walking frame and refuses to go out without help. He blames his condition on old age. My friend who works in the retirement home business maintains that this is an excuse, not a legitimate reason.
So, how many of us use being older as an excuse for not being able to do things physically and even intellectually? We say, “Oh, I won’t be able to walk up those stairs or go on that holiday because I haven’t the strength or may fall over”. Or, “I must be getting old as I keep forgetting things!” As medical and physical fitness gurus who work with over 50s keep pointing out, you can get fitter in mind and body if you try!
Older people whom some call ‘seniors” are aided and abetted in this view of themselves by some in the health and retirement industry and also of course the old culprit, the media, both mainstream and social. In New South Wales we are drawing to the end of our “Seniors Week”. Despite qualifying by age as a ‘Senior’, I did not participate in any of the activities as all accompanying images showed women and men older than me, and many of them looking rather infirm. These images do not reflect me nor the majority of my friends of a similar age nor some of our powerful women and men in politics and business who are still contributing to the community and the world.
So, it’s time for the new revolution. We Baby Boomers were very good at “being revolting” as my husband would say. So, let’s stamp out ageism, in our own minds and in community perceptions. And stop using excuses for not getting started on combatting older age.
To find out more about how you can stay healthy and hopeful in your later retirement years, sign up for the newsletter on our website www.retirementbooks.com.au. And we have a number of books that can give you some very useful advice.