How to future-proof our old age
By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood
Iam often told that I tend to focus on children’s upbringing and youth in my writings.
That is possibly because they are the future generation and if we are to “future-proof ” our lives, we need to grasp every opportunity to set right the innumerable wrongs we, the older gen, have inflicted upon the world.
That said, the Gen X-ers too have their own share of issues to manage and we are often so busy caring for either the older generation of our parents or the younger generation of our children, that we leave any long-term planning of our own future till the very last.
Many of us justify this lack of planning as selflessness but the truth is that it shows a complete confusion about the 21st century.
Consider these facts: going by current trends and healthcare advances, most of us enjoy a natural lifespan that is at least 25 years more than our parents.
And we live these years in relative good health physically.
Alongside this long evity, we are faced with the challenged of managing the so-called ‘lifestyle’ ailments like diabetes and hypertension, joint stiffness because of too much sitting on desks.
We need to balance the good fortune of our bonus years with the challenges of accompanying small setbacks and draw up a life-plan that will not make us a burden to our children.
Of course, in Bahrain, most of us have excellent free health cover and expats are mostly covered by their employers.
That leaves us with the question of what we can do with our time.
The idle mind is the devil’s workshop and an idle older person can soon become a burden on his or her family or society.
At the same time, the elderly are repositories of our heritage and our past and must be respected.
In a fast-evolving society where the old joint family traditions have given way to nuclear units with husband and wife working, we have to find a meaningful role for our elderly if we are to avoid the pitfalls of care that other societies face when dealing with the aged.
A proper care model will also assure us that we shall be well-cared for and can look forward to a meaningful and emotionally satisfying old age when it is our turn.
Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editorin-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism