Are we staring at a huge population of lonely senior citizens in future?
Life is fun when you are young, active and energetic. You want to live a carefree life where there are no responsibilities, no burdens, no baggage…just a simple and fun life with no strings attached. Recent trend among the 20s and 30s is not to get married and even if they do get married, they prefer not to have children. It’s a fair point, people these days prioritize career and their independence over anything else. The idea of companionship with the same person everyday feels claustrophobic when you are young and understandably so.
Consider the vibrant life of a 30 year old female – beautiful, relatively young, successful in career and popular among friends. She loves to party each night, go to new places on weekends and not having to worry about what’s happening at home. Why would she want to settle down, get married, have kids and become a stay-at-home mom? Why would she want to leave her independence to become chained in a relationship that probably would demand her to come straight back home from work?
Ageing doesn’t stop, does it? She will become older, she will eventually turn 60 when her joints start aching, when she will not enjoy getting drunk and passing out every night, when she will prefer to come back home straight from work, when she will prefer to have someone wait for her at home, someone who will give her a sense of comfort and being cared for.
Is the desire to be alone when young results, making you live in loneliness when you are old?
Many people experience loneliness and depression in old age, either as a result of living alone or due to lack of close family ties, which results in an inability to actively participate in community activities. With advancing age, it is inevitable that people lose connection with their friendship networks and that they find it more difficult to initiate new friendships and to belong to new networks.
Advancement in medical science has increased the average lifespan to 80, probably increasing the lonely years by 10.
Many people counter the argument saying that loneliness is just a state of mind and it may be true when you are young and your calendar is filled with appointments. But when you are old and keep staring at the calendar with just doctor’s appointments, loneliness really hits you hard.
Just like how we plan our finances and prepare to keep an amount set aside for old age, it won’t hurt to plan our buckets of friends who will help you through bouts of loneliness when you are old!