Saturday, September 29, 2012

Long Life a Curse?

Senior Citizens Find That New Ulm, Minnesota, Is a Good Place to Retire.  There Is a Close Community Responsibility Towards Older People No Matter What Their Financial Position Might Be... 

 Is long life a curse?  With life expectancy going up, we are all sold to the idea that most of us will live long and happy lives.  However, I am wondering whether long life expectancy is a gift or whether it is a curse.

Too often, we have the image of ourselves ageing gracefully and in complete bliss, surrounded by people we love.  But most people (who have elderly at home), will know that this is probably not the case.

As one ages, one's mental faculty also deteriorates.  Not only that, one's physical state also starts to decline. So apart from dealing with health issues, there are also a whole lot of emotional or even psychological issues that can become a source of friction within the entire extended family.

And this has really got me starting to think whether I really want to live until a ripe old age.  I have seen firsthand the difficulties that caregivers face when looking after the elderly.  When the elderly are good in health, it is okay.  

But there are also many other factors that can strain family ties.  An example is:  Who looks after the aged parent?  Will the eldest son or eldest daughter rise up to the occasion?  What if all the children are located in different countries?  How does the care arrangements work out?  And what happens if the elderly is not in good health, or worse still , not in good emotional/psychological state?

Caregivers face a difficult, tiring, and mentally exhausting task.  Those who have gone through it will probably know the difficulties.

I now know it when I hear the common phrase used by older people about how they do not want to "burden their children".  

Is long life a blessing or a curse?  What do you think?

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