Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Growing old...

While walking to the market for my breakfast last Sunday, I saw the old lady that I see every night, struggling and walking with difficulty to the coffee shop near my block for supper.

It is very unusual to see her in the morning. Even more unusual were her neatly combed hair, clean and tidy dress, and the addition of a young lady holding her and walking next to her. My guess is that the young lady is likely a maid engaged by the old lady's children to look after her. Her live seems to be improved as she looks better, neater and walk faster with the support from the young lady.

However, she seems to be leaning on the young lady for support and I wondered if the presence of the young lady create an over dependence for the older lady. Will the old lady's fighting spirit and dignity disappear with the appearance of the young lady? After all, I had seen her struggling since I moved in 6 years ago. She had been surviving and I don't recall seeing her children. Why the sudden change? Are those changes requested by her? I am not in a position to judge as a stranger, but I thought, the picture would have been much beautiful if she is seen with the younger lady, her children and even grandchildren. Maybe they did visit her and have meals with her, but I happen not see them.

In this current fast pace, money and time demanding society, people hardly have the luxury of time to spend with people they loved. It also seems that some of us had forgotten how to love and we substitute it with fulfilling the materialistic needs of people we love, feed them with health supplements and provide alternative care with the employment of a maid.

This had been so commonly practice that people we loved too, either accepted or mistaken those as the signs of love. Sometimes, those practices become so habitual that people continue to practice them into their old age. Only when the practices were administered on them, then they realized that it cannot substitute love. A thought so commonly shared by many elders I befriended when I volunteered with a group looking after the needs of destitute elderly staying alone.

Fortunately or not, I do not have the capability to fulfill materialistic needs and neither am I able to engage a maid to provide alternative care. So for me, I am back to the tradition method of spending limited but quality time with my daughter. I am enjoying every single moment of my time with my daughter.

Back to the topic of aged care, I would rather struggle and take my time to complete my daily tasks then to have my freedom, rights and dignity taken away from me when I am old.

Heard that 小tz? I know that comes your time, you may be faced with an even more demanding work environment and you too, need to maintain good work-life balance with your family. So daddy is fine staying alone with mummy but do have meals with us so that we know you are well.