Our Wheel is Turning.

by Julie Grenness
(Melbourne, Australia. )

Yes, retirees, it is time to welcome life's later years. Our wheel of aging is turning. We accept this, and accept our own and each other's decisions.

Personally, I am part of the bulge in retirement today, featuring citizens born in the 1950's. Globally, there are estimated to be over 700 million of us.

In reality, due to many reasons, more baby boomers our age are retiring these days. Some do choose to work on, with valid reasons. Retirees now leaving the workforce are taking away years of valuable experience, knowledge and reliability, no matter what the field of employment was.

This is leading to increases in shortfalls in skilled workers. Here, daily, we are reading advertisements for hospitality staffing, trade persons, lawn mowing staff, or relief teaching staff, or for health professionals. We all rely on such people at some stage.

Our ageing wheel is turning, any retiree can develop any health or financial needs. As a generation, we boomers are more likely to have acquired tertiary education, computer literacy, to have quit smoking, and to have controlled any alcohol consumption. So many of us are champion ex-smokers, we shall probably have to handle the COPD issue as it occurs.

The retirement generation are still big on exercising, depending on physical mobility. As our ageing wheel turns and we reach a frail elderly status, we shall aim to be the aware generation. We shall want to age with dignity, expecting person-centered approaches from staff and funding.

That is an optimist writing. At this stage, a person-centered approach involves a pre-booked very brief telehealth phone chat with my doctor. He or she then texts a script to my iphone. I undertake a tour of the local pharmacy. This is very efficient and state of the art. It works, okay?

Now I am wondering about exactly who is going to perform the practical approaches to our frail ageing needs. As our wheel keeps turning, there is going to be bulge in the geriatric racing team-'our generation.'

Let's hope the boomer retirees can keep on keeping on. We are going to create an as yet unknown demand on pensions, and health requirements. There shall have to be an increase in trained staff.
Like who? Shall it be the young ones?

These millennials could all scroll on their phones before they could talk. But does this mean they are going to want to change our bed sheets and bedpans? Instead, maybe they had better start inventing some kindly, specific robots, just for us. Sort of not funny.

I am wondering if any retiree can really prepare for being frail and aged. These are all bridges we shall have to cross, one day, as our wheel of ageing turns.......

Comments for Our Wheel is Turning.

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Covid didn't help either
by: Alison NY

There was just an article in our local paper here in Upstate NY about the lack of health care workers for people attempting to stay independent in their homes. They got burned out after Covid.

When I retired I took a job in a retail store and when Covid hit, the store closed for three months and only a small number of us were invited back. Like we were special. Only it was not that at all. The store had suffered financial losses. They chose hard workers and had us work twice as hard for the same pay. Not one other retired worker came back, if they were asked they were smart enough to say no.

I see signs on every establishment asking for help. Our local parks here closed before labor day because they had no help. No life guards.

I too worry about who I can pay to help me when lawn care gets to be too much. Or when I can't keep up with the care of my house.

Years ago I took care of an aunt who lived two hours away. A friend in her late 80s would do shopping etc. They sat with me one day and said that they could not find a "good man" to pay to take care of things around their houses. This was fifteen years ago. It is even worse now.

I have a friend in a nursing home. She told me that the aides who care for her often lean against the wall and text. She is scared to complain or no one will help her.

It sure is a scary world out there.... and Covid did not help matters at all.....

very impressed with your insights
by: Nick / Philadelphia

I marvel at how insightful the people on this site are. Julie and Tom provided some great insights. I might humbly add that the millennial generation is probably not nearly as shallow as presented to us.

Having grown up in Indiana, I didn't know anyone who acted like the people portrayed as being typical of our generation. Free sex, everyone doing drugs, etc weren't things that were part of the real world for me.

That said, I wish there was more acceptance of those of us who are ready to leave the world peacefully in our own time....

by: John A. Tyler,Texas

You make some very valid points and are concerns I have had for had for quite some time.

As I age, I am reminded of the Country Western Song by Johnny Cash called "One Piece at a Time". It’s about an auto assembly worker who took home parts to cars one piece at a time over the years. And when he finished taking the parts, he started putting them together and nothing fit because they were from different model years.

In a similar manner, I have had parts put in me and nothing really seems to fit like they once did. Nowadays, I am doing the opposite; falling apart one piece at a time. Now I walk into a room I realize I have contacted "hereafter disease"; I say to myself what the hell did I come in here after?

And given the circumstances of the millennial generation taking over because they are so self absorbed playing their video games, expecting their fair share, I am relieved to say I am closer to leaving this world instead of coming into it because they don’t care about the elderly people; generationally speaking.

What you say gives me some serious concerns about our world and the problems only mounting with a generation comprised of many ingrates who really never worked for a thing in their lives. And they will basically find a way to rid this world of the older generation of Baby Boomers. IMHO I believe it was partly the purpose of the pandemic.

Stay active - Depend on yourself
by: Michael - Upstate NY for the summer!

I look at my dad who is 87 and still mows the lawn, rakes the leaves, shovels the snow, and does all of the housework and grocery shopping. He runs on the treadmill and plays tennis.

I will be 57 next month. I ride my bicycle 40+ miles every-other-day. I maintain a garden during the summer in Upstate NY. I am lucky to live in Florida during the winter months. I enjoy the same outdoor activities in Florida, although my gardening is on a more limited scale as there is more room on a 50-acre farm vs. a quarter-acre residential lot.

If I am physically able, the answer to the question of "who will do everything?" comes from all of my elders. Do it yourself!

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