Growing old gracefully

We are all getting older, and thanks to modern medicine, and better hygiene, we are all living much longer. As I spent much of my time in England with my parents and their friends, I was very aware of how many older people there are. Retiring at 60 still leaves many people with at least another 20 years until their time is up. So how are they filling their days?

Upon retirement, my parents moved to Derbyshire, an area of England known for its countryside, and abundance of paths to walk on. Every other shop is an outdoor supply outlet, selling walking boots, and camping supplies. This is what people in Derbyshire do. My parents belong to various walking groups, where the average age is around 70, and they meet several times a week, and walk together. Its a fantastic way to get out of the house, and meet other like-minded individuals. One of these groups is called “walking for health” and is specifically targeting those that are recovering from health issues, and need to get back in to shape. This one takes it fairly easy, and offers friendship and support as well as a chance for some exercise.

Fresh air, and gentle walking does wonders for the health and many of these old people were much fitter than me, despite being 30 years my senior. I was very happy to see that they had a way of keeping active and social. Local sports facilities are also providing various classes for the over 50’s which is another way of keeping people moving. Everyone I met was full of vigor and passion. One 80 year old was even planning a trip to Antarctica!

Another program that I came across while I was in England was the “care and Share” scheme which has been set up to help the elderly that live alone, offering people a chance to live rent free, in exchange for running a few errands, and keeping the elderly person company. This seems like a great idea, allowing people to continue living at home, with dignity, while avoiding possible accidents in the home.

So I feel a little relieved that my parents have plenty to do to keep them active and occupied in their twilight years.

Bali does not have quite the same opportunities, although the average age of the hash group is getting older and older, and they are keeping active by running in the rice fields 3 times a week. (for more information about hashing, go visit the Bali Hash facebook page). For the local Balinese, the average life span is not as long as in the west, so there is not quite the same need to entertain the elderly. As all generations all live together, the older generations still play a vital role in the family unit, and as such do not remain idle, often stepping in as carers for their grandchildren.

It is increasingly important to feel that we have a purpose as we grow older. A reason to get up in the morning, and a feeling that we make a difference. I am reassured that my parents have reached this point, and are finding many ways to occupy their time. I hope as I grow older I will be able to do the same

9 thoughts on “Growing old gracefully

  1. Glad you enjoyed your time here in the UK. Where are your Mum and Dad? My Mum’s in Buxton – have I told you that before? Apologies if so. With the town being 1000 feet plus above sea level, it has its own micro climate, being much cooler even than the surrounding towns which are a few hundred feet lower. Being a southerner by birth, I think my Mum’s finding the weather harder as she gets older (just turned 70). Sliding down all those icy hills is no fun when you have arthritis.
    How great that your parents are still so active and involved – it definitely keeps you going longer. And they have each other two, so a double bonus.

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    • I don’t think you had told me that before. That’s not all that far away. Yes, when it’s cold and icy those hills can be dangerous. I am happy my parents are still agile and keeping fit, and I am enjoying it while it lasts!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a nice post for mid lifers!
    Hi!
    I am Janice. It seems you found me on Danny’s Meet and Greet. (Your reblog was my clue=)). Thank you so much for coming over and following me. I am grateful and would like to express my thanks by sending you an invitation to pin to our group Pinterest board. Can I please have your Email or Pinterest name? Thank you!
    Janice.

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  3. Such an interesting post, I’m in the ‘old age’ range you talk about – although I’m not seventy for a few years yet, Husband and I are very active and enjoy life to the full. with lots of days out – sometimes into Derbyshire. We live in Nottinghamshire. so it’s not too far to travel. I walk a lot daily and swim three or four times a week, so keep quite fit. Your views on the roles of the aged both here and in Bali were interesting, too. The role of regularly childminding/grandparenting children has increased tremendously in Britain over the years, as so many mums go out to work. Of course, the extended family of Bali and other Asian countries is not the norm here, as you know. Enjoyable read.

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  4. I just found you blog. I wish I had the chance to find it a few months ago.
    I lived in Bali for 2 months volunteering in Yeh pulu, Bedulu. A balinese family hosted me, a very lovely one by the way.
    Very close to Goa Gajah.
    I have a very particularly feelings about Bali. It was wonderful and extremely tough at the same time. And I’ve read things here that I could say I share the same thoughts.
    I find you very brave to actually build up a completely new life in bali, a real one with local husband and kids!
    I’m back from Bali for a few months now and I still don’t know my feelings for that island.
    Everytime I talk about this place I almost fell like there is something that pulls me towards back there. Lately I’ve been thinking about my time in Bali and Im happy to have found your blog. So I can feel all those balinese feelings again. Suksuma 🙂

    Sorry about my english, I’m brazilian.

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    • Hi Raquel,
      I am glad you found me too!! I have not been writing much recently, too caught up in life here, building a house actually! I know what you mean about Bali it has a strange pull, which works on many different people. I keep thinking of going back to live in England, and then I just cannot leave!!
      Mary

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