My two older sisters have a serious fear of growing old. One is nearing thirty years of age and the other is at the tender age of twenty five so this anxiousness of becoming frail may seem a little absurd.
Perhaps the fear of ageing for my two sisters stems from observing and also experiencing first hand elderly South Asian women who are very dependent on their families for everything. They rely on their families for everything from food to finance, from popping into the local newsagent to going to the GP, to providing a house for them to preparing food for them. I think they worry because they feel as though they will end up like the grandmothers they see around them. All my sisters see is the various illnesses that the elderly women have, their unhappiness, their constant complaining and their lack of independence. However, they fail to take into account that they cannot compare themselves to the elderly South Asian women who came to the UK in their adult years and a lot of them became housewives whilst their husbands went out to work. So they did not learn how to manage finances, did not become members of the workforce, did not go to the gym and take care of the health, did not learn how to drive, did not become confident with using technology etc. Therefore I think that my sisters perception of ageing is distorted. I don’t think that the process of growing old should be viewed negatively as such. Yes, it could be argued that is no positivity associated with a decline in health, beauty and energy. However growing old is inevitable yet a person can still be independent, have their own flat, drive a car, go grocery shopping on the own and still do the things they have always done at a much older age. The sooner my sisters understand that happiness and ageing is not mutually exclusive the better as it would enable them to embrace and enjoy the presence without worrying about the future .