Here again, I would like to mention my experience.
When I went to a nursing home for my outdoor activity, I got along with some elderly women. One of them said that she was really lonely because she was alone at home. I couldn’t say anything. All I could do was be with her for a few hours. I did massage her shoulders and kept holding her hands for a long time while wishing her happiness.
Another grandmother said, “I don want to live any longer. If I live longer I may become senile and cause my family to take care of me. I wish I would die soon so I would not bother my family.”
Almost everyone I met in the center was born and brought up in Fukushima. They have worked hard as farmers every day with no holidays or retirement. The other elderly person sadly said, “My hands are brown and crumpled.”
But I think that such people and such hands have made this country. Those hands are the very hands which should be respected!
Let’s think about other aspect of elderly. On the islands of Okinawa, there are many people who live long and they reach age 100 at an amazing rate*. In recent years researchers have found out across the globe to find the secret to long life. Then Okinawa was selected a group that is among the longest lived on earth. There are some key habits to live longer happily.
- Be active everyday!
- Find purpose!
- Keep socially engaged!
- Keep life long friends!
In addition, Okinawa people respect elderly. Those keys let them live longer happily. We can see social relationships are important for elderly too. We can learn ‘the best practice’ from them. The rest is up to us.
In conclusion, I would like to ask you a question again. In facing your own old age, how would you like to live? When my parents get old, when I get old, we all need someone’s help. We cannot live alone. I would not like to let my parents feel lonely. I would not like to bother my children but don’t want to live and die alone. I will not stand to be alone in the final stage of my life.
Can we live happily even though we get old?
I think we can.
We may need help but it is life. As Okinawa people, enjoy aging and respect elderly!
You can see below about secrets of Okinawa.