Old age is inevitable but this imminent process of aging can be delayed.
People should try to make their old age confident, impressive, comfortable and fruitful.
A person after attaining age beyond 55 years may or may not develop physical characters of old age but gets an internal feeling of this age.
When the youngsters in the family start calling the person as grandfather or grandmother, naturally an idea of attaining the old age gets confirmed.
A person in government job achieves retirement at the age of 58 or 60 years.
Likewise, businessmen, farmers or professionals also develop the characteristics of elderly person at about similar age.
Major problems of old age can be categorized as under.
Degradation in Family and Social Status
Death of Kiths and Kins
Accumulated Sins and Wicked Actions
Aging involves progressive deterioration of structures and functions of cells, tissues, organ and organ-systems of organisms with the advancing age. Almost every organ system of the body gets adversely affected with progressions of age from childhood, adolescence, maturity and old age.
Skin and its derivatives
Skin develops wrinkles, loss of hair, greying of hair, reduction in sweat glands and touch sense.
The working capacity of voluntary muscles (arms, legs, feet, chest etc) gets reduced, involuntary muscles (gut, various ducts, urinary bladder) give slow response, body feels pains and tiredness (fatigue), fat deposition.
Bones become stiff, more brittle, Recovery of fractures become slow, cartilages becomes hard.
Reduction in food intake, production of digestive juices, Irregular diarrhea, constipation, increase in ulcers and gas formation, loss of appetite.
Reduction in breathing rate, lung capacity, cell respiration.
Heartbeat reduces to 65% in 70 years of age as compared to 30 years age; increase in narrowing and blockage of arteries supplying blood to vital organs; Reduction in blood capillaries and production of red blood cells.
The number of urinary tubules in kidneys is reduced to almost about 80%, urine formation becomes slow, decrease in capacity of urinary bladder, accumulation of uric acid.
Nervous System and Sense Organ
Reduction in memory and sleep, taste buds reduced to 30%; decrease in eye sight, hearing capacity, touch feelings, other responses.
This regulating system becomes slow, thymus gland which controls growth and development is almost lost, chances of diseases like goiter, myxoedema, diabetes, hypertension, exophthalmia etc increase, females undergo menopause after about 45 years of age.
Oligospermia in males, and infertility in females, reduction in sensual capacity.
Decrease in capacity to fight disease due to low production of antibodies, increases infection and chances of cancer.
Following steps are being suggested to maintain good health.
I. Proper and balanced diet.
Food should be healthy & nutritious.
II. Vegetables and Fruits.
Rich in minerals, vitamins, fibers etc should be taken regularly.
III. Avoid commercial fast foods and spicy foods.
IV. In case of disease – take specified medicine and diet as prescribed by the doctor.
V. Do not resort to self medication or the medicine suggested by friends, relatives etc. because they do not understand the cause of disease.
VI. Do not take spoiled or expiry dated medicines.
VII. Perform regular exercise, these exercises can be yoga, deep breathing (Pranayama) with guidance from expert. Keep your body moving.
VIII. Seek the help of physiotherapist in case of muscular, joint pains etc.
IX. Refrain from the use of non-vegetarian meals, alcohol and intoxicants.
X. Consume sufficient amount of safe and pure drinking water.
XI. Body massage (dry or with good oil) also keeps your body fit and healthy.
XII. Always think young and positive. Do not develop the feelings of being helpless and tired.
Relatives, friend, old colleagues, neighbors etc do not care much after retirement of the person from any job or profession Therefore, the elderly person feels neglected through old associates.
Even the members of own family do not devote sufficient time to the elderly persons. The sons and daughters concentrate on the development of their own new families and ignore their parents.
The problem becomes still aggravated if the husband or wife leaves for heavenly abode. The old person feels tension as he or she feels a situation of solitude and isolation even in this crowded universe.
Even these precarious conditions of loneliness can be made comfortable and pleasant in following manner.
a) Feel independent to decide your routine activities.
b) Enjoy reading, writing, listening music or watching television if available
c) Adopt and promote your hobbies
d) Do not indulge in evil actions of quarreling, gambling, drug addiction etc.
e) Get involved in social services at religious, educational, sports organization etc.
f) Develop friendship with persons of same age and arrange meetings, conversation and discussions etc.
g) Organize religious meetings and programs at your home.
h) Attend religious programs organized by your spiritual guide.
i) Cherish the bliss of prayers and meditation regularly.
j) Try to remain busy, involved in positive thoughts and actions.
k) Use your experience to train and provide guidance to the youth for progress of society and the nation.
l) Try to maintain record of your experiences, solutions to odd situations, moments of exaltations.
Degradation in Family and Social Status
An elderly person feels that the extent of regard and gratitude he deserves is getting declined with passage of time and on attaining advanced age. Therefore, a feeling of dejection and rejection overshadows his/her mind.
Such situations can be overcome with good change in attitude, understanding and tolerance.
a) Provide proper guidance, training and encouragement to the youngsters of the family about your experiences in job or profession or business.
b) Offer responsibilities to young ones. Do not develop any ill feelings about them.
c) Give due regards to your elders so that the children get motivation to follow your advice.
d) Guide the young ones to adopt religious aptitude which will inculcate profound divine bliss in the family.
Death of Kiths and Kins
The situation becomes very tense when the relatives, friends, co-workers depart due to untimely death. The sudden demise of dear young ones or life partner is highly regrettable and cause of great sufferings.
They cry day-in and day-out. Think of them, when they do not shed a single tear over their separation from supreme master.
It is difficult to forget such grief. But the passage of time and the grace of God can provide the required relief. One must submit to the mercy and kindness of Spiritual master. Pray for the blessings for the deported soul. In case of widow daughter, daughter in law or widower son, the elderly persons can think of their remarriage.
But the consent of the concerned member and the consultation with other relatives shall also be beneficial.
A stage, where the old persons become incapable to continue their regular earnings, they face such problems, because the family members, sometime, refuse to fulfill the desires and objectives. Complete dependence on the family may lead to dishonor and elders may even be turned out of home. Sometimes, the old persons develop the tendency for suicide due to increased frustrations.
This problem can be resolved in following manners.
a) Every person should try to conserve the savings of his/her earning age.
b) HE/She should not only be financially affluent for self support but also be capable to share certain savings for the benefit of the young ones.
c) Aging persons should not completely surrender the whole property and savings to the young ones in family.
d) The retired persons can establish consultancy service, certain business, small industry etc. or seek re-employment in certain private concern to continue earning tendency.
e) Pension from job, life insurance, savings, investments in the form of immovable property, can help meet out the financial requirements during old age.
f) Deposit your savings in nationalized banks, post office etc. Do not give loans to private agencies in the greed of better interest.
Divisions of ancestral property become the major cause of disputes among brothers, sisters and descendents.
There may be certain misunderstandings among relatives and friends. Such problems create much difficulty and become the cause of agony in old age.
a) Efforts should be made to resolve the problems amicably. Help of family members and other elderly persons of society may be sought.
b) Everyone should refrain from quarrel and court of law.
c) Be polite and have tolerance.
Such problems are due to cumulative effects of odd situations during old age. These appear in few persons which cause excessive tensions and frustrations. Such persons become more submissive, possessive or aggressive.
Therefore, elderly persons should try to remain humble, positive and peaceful. They should never over react to any new situation.
Accumulated Sins and wicked Actions
Certain evil tasks which are self centred, may or may not be evident to the family or society but one has to bear the consequences in the long run. Our future thoughts and behavior has to undergo great sufferings.
These sins go on accumulating with the advancement of age. Such wicked actions cause great mental disturbances during solitude, the dreams become fearful and one has to face restless nights.
Suggested solutions to this problem are
a) The advancing age should become a period of past, present and future self reforms
b) One should pledge to abstain from evil actions.
c) They should rise above caste, creed, religion, political or financial status to develop respect for all.
d) People can deceive others through thoughts, words and deeds but cannot deceive the Almighty God.
e) The ill effects of these sins can be minimized through prayers and meditation.
Therefore, the elderly age can be made excellent when
1. We should develop strong ambition for love and respect for humanity. Make the life well disciplined with positive thoughts.
2. Remove the fear of death through pure heart and sublime soul. The body of each person comes to this universe as unique individual, lives in the company of many but the soul departs as a pure and distinct entity.
3. Perform regular meditation so as to be in the lap of our most beloved God.
4. All this can be achieved through the grace of spiritual guide who showers his blessings through God words initiation.
Regularity and punctuality in meditations slowly but surely succeeds to overpower the obstacles of mind.
5. Gladly accept what is ordained by God and do not crave for happiness at your own will through pretentions and ostentations.
Dr. Triloki Nath Chugh Insan,
Co-ordinator, Shah Satnam Ji Educational Institutions, DSS, Sirsa