We owe the aged care and love they need the most

‘Sixty’ has great significance for human beings. It is the age when, it is said, life begins. But it is also the age when one bids adieu to a part of life one never wants to part with. It is at this stage that one gets tagged “senior citizen”.

What is it like to be a senior citizen? If one goes by the adage that life begins at 60, then it becomes an occasion to celebrate life.

Yes, in a way, one can say life begins at 60 because one becomes “free” of most of the life’s mundane responsibilities and gets into a stage of “freedom” to retrospect and lead a more meaningful and pious life that goes well with the final journey of life.

And, there is a belief among traditional societies all over the world that 60 marks a ‘critical’period in one’s life. It is like crossing a very dangerous pass that lets only the lucky go ahead in life. Those who are lucky enough to cross this critical stage get a new lease of life.

But the point is that life, whatever the stage, is for celebration. If one gets beyond 60, then it calls for greater celebration.

To celebrate the achievements and the celebrations of life for 60 years is good enough reason to cheer up and look for a brave, new world.

According to Joydeep Chakraborty, managing director of WhenAt60.com, an organisationthat looks after the problems of the aged; India has 100 million people past 60 and “growing very fast”.

He regrets that the aged all over the world are left to their fate and they are not looked after the way we look after our children with great care and affection. Old people are, in many ways, as childish and vulnerable as children and hence they need the care and love kids get.

They need to feel cared and loved the way we felt when we were in their loving care. Now is the time to repay; and no sacrifice for them is great enough. To be a loving and caring person, remind yourself time and again every day that you are what you are solely because of them.

Like you needed when you were a child, elders too need ways to share, rejoice, feel good, secure and wanted and loved.

If you fulfil these obligations, you too will be “repaid” by your children when you are in the sunset days of your life. And this could be done by creating, what Chakraborty says, “a new age ecosystems” for the old.

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