Two things have happened simultaneously that have contributed to this drastic change in outlook. Firstly, with the advent of modern technology, there are quick fixes for almost every sign of ageing. Better healthcare, health supplements, gyms, fitness and yoga studios, detox farms – our bodies have never had it better. There are cosmetic ways of tackling signs of ageing as well. Grey hair playing peek-a-boo with you? Simply colour it. See some wrinkles creeping up? We now have Botox. And if deteriorating vision bothers you – laser was never easier.
I don’t look old, then why should I feel old? A very fair argument, most would opine.
The other factor is social. Family sizes are shrinking as people are having fewer kids, or their kids relocate for furthering their educational pursuits or are too busy to spend quality family time. More and more children are leaving their parents’ home and creating their own nest, even if it may be in the same city as their parents.
Social Wellness refers to the ability to connect and forge meaningful, positive relationships with the people around us.
A person experiencing social wellness is living in harmony with the environment and community, and seeks positive, interdependent relationships with them. The social dimension of wellness promotes contribution to the environment and community. He or she plays a proactive role in encouraging healthier living and creating better communication with the community.
All this is now teaching our seniors that they have to get on with their own lives and start living for themselves. They are beginning to come out of the shadows of their families and learning to be more independent. Needless to say, the life of a 50-year-old will never be the same again.
No more retirement blues, sitting at home, twiddling thumbs, killing time and reminiscing over the days gone. No more suffering from the Empty Nest Syndrome, depression or loneliness. Circumstances like retirement, loss of a partner or a spouse and children leaving home need not spell the end.
It is time for them to realise (and fortunately many already have) that the world is their oyster and for once, time is on their side. Their biggest responsibilities in life (bringing up children, taking care of their education and marriage) have been shed and they are now free to finally focus on themselves – something that they probably haven’t been able to do for a very long time.
Many baby boomers look at this golden period as a time to catch up on lost opportunities and make up for the time they never had. It is a new beginning and that is exactly what is should be looked upon as. It is also heartening to note that many are busier in retirement than they were prior to retirement.