Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Being old

Recently I have been thinking of old age due to seeing the many elderly people who live on the same street as my in-laws - who takes care of them and how they live their lives.

1. One old lady (around 80 years old) lives in her marital home with two young Cambodian maids (20-25 years old). Her son and daughter (mid 60s) visit her during the weekends. I have never seen the old lady outside her house - only the maids.

2. Another old lady (75ish) lives in her younger brother's house as the caretaker with rooms let out to tenants. She is sweet and polite and very independent. She dares to walk alone to the nearby shops to get her grocery.

3. My parents-in-law (early 70s) live on their own in their marital home and we visit them regularly.

4. An old lady (70ish) lives with her son and his family with a maid.

5. An elderly couple (late 70s) lives on their own and occasionally the wife will shout very loudly at her husband and her shouts can be heard down the whole street even though she is shouting from within her own house. *Update (29 June 2011): I was told that the wife shouts at the husband because the husband is hard of hearing and she has to ask him to do things around the house because her legs are weak and she can't walk and move about*

6. There is one widow (mid 60s) who lives with a maid and babysit 4 grandchildren (2 from her daughter and 2 from her son). Her son lives in his own house with his family a few doors away and will send his children over to her house everyday. Her daughter lives further away but still send her children over to her house everyday.

So it sets me thinking, will I be like the old woman who shouts at her spouse when I am old and grey? Or will I live alone by myself should my spouse passed away before me? Can I be independent when old?

What about you? Have you thought about being old? Do you expect to live with your children and their respective families or do you expect to live with your children who are still single? Or do you plan to treasure your independence and live on your own for as long as you can as long as you are able to care for yourself? What's your plan should you need a carer - hire a maid or check into a nursing home or expect your children to be your carer? I told my spouse, if he needs a carer when he is old, I am checking both of us into a nursing home because I do not have the confidence that I will be able to take good care of him when I am old myself.

Speaking of the elderly, my maternal grandmother is going to celebrate her 95th birthday soon. She lives alone and still cooks her own meals. Can I be as independent as her? Once again, only time can tell.

A recent photo of my grandmother


  1. i plan to enter ms universe pageant when i m old, okkay!

  2. I believe if the mind is strong, you can do anything no matter what age. I haven't thought so far yet how to live old age, but I hope the spouse will live long with me. I promise not to shout at him. Haha!

  3. As long as we take good care of our bodies now, our chances of being strong and independent elderly people is good! :)

  4. This is a huge topic... and yes, this thought sometimes will creep into my mind too...

  5. Hi Elizebeth, I agree that it is important to plan for our old days. What are your preferences for living your golden years later?

  6. Hi Gargles, you sure are ambitious! :)

    Hi Jennifer, I am not old yet but I still can't lift and carry my spouse though my mind is strong currently. Tried lifting him a few times, didn't even budged. Don't think I will be able to do it when I am old and caring for him. Hahaha!

  7. Hi Jamie, according to the Alzheimer's Association website (www.alz.org): "The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65. After age 85, the risk reaches nearly 50 percent."


  8. I wanted my mum to live with us one day when she's old and can't take care of herself and her dogs... because she is very easygoing and unobtrusive and I wished we had had more quiet time together... she turned me down!! she says she would be bored and would like to live in a nice home with other "old foggies" (her words, not mine) to hang out with...

    you're so lucky to have a 95yr old grandma... I have one, but wish I had the other too - cos the other one would've really loved hong kong!

  9. Hi Aileen, good that your mother has already planned what she wants to do when she's old. What about you?

  10. Well, i tot about it all the time. I would prefer to live on my own (away from the children) .

  11. I wanted to adopt a whole bunch of dogs, preferably unwanted ones and live with them... :P

  12. Hi Redbabe, hhhmmm, so you think about this all the time too.

    Hello Aileen, a very noble plan - to care for unwanted dogs. Open a dog shelter perhaps?

  13. i also started to think where will i be in the future since i don't plan to get married or having any kids...

    the future seems to be scarier than tomorrow. maybe i will just work hard now and hopefully i will be able to live comfortably in the future.

  14. Hi Renaye, actually having children does not mean that the children will take care of the parents so even people who have lots of children need to plan for their old age.

  15. I intend to travel the world when I am old and grey.

    My friend's mother is 95 and she actually walked down to the volcano crater ... it is not easy. I tell you.

    Nope. I do not intend to stay with my kids. And if I am no longer capable to take care of myself... nursing home it is!

  16. Hi NomadicMom, Wow! 95 and walked to the volcano crater!? Really amazing. I doubt I can walk easily when/if I reach 75.

    You are also very independent to choose nursing home instead of living with children. Bravo!