Data from the World Bank states that the average life expectancy of an Indian has increased from 41 years in 1960 to 68 years in 2015. With increased life expectancy, higher incomes and advancements in medical assistance, the current generation of seniors in India are redefining the very idea of “old age.”
Old-Age No Longer Means Retiring to a Corner
For several decades, old age was associated with a sedentary lifestyle - time to give up one’s passions, go on a few pilgrimages, take up new sedentary hobbies like reading, watching daily soaps on TV, and watch the grandkids.
However, this scenario is fast-changing today. The seniors of today are financially stable, not dependent on their kids, socially connected and well-travelled. The years after retirement are no longer dreaded. In fact, it’s considered as a golden period of life, where one can enjoy life on their own terms, free from familial responsibilities.
Today the 50s are seen as the new 30s and 60s as the new 40s.
A plethora of Living Options for Modern-day Seniors
Just a few years ago, seniors in India had no option but to live in the home of their kids or their own home, with hired help. Most seniors battled depression, loneliness and lived in homes that were unsafe for them. And, if a person’s health deteriorated, they had to move out from their familiar homes to clinical nursing homes, where they were restricted to their beds with no family nearby.
Today, seniors have plenty of new ways to stay independent after 60. Independent living communities for seniors, competent in-home care, senior-friendly apartments, and assisted living facilities – did not exist just a few years ago.
For today’s seniors, retirement is not about staying cooped indoors. It has transformed into a life of independence and freedom.
Significant Improvements in At-Home Medical Care and Assistance for Seniors
Today, the market is flooded with an array of devices that help seniors see a huge improvement in their daily life. Monitoring devices for seniors living alone, smart vacuums, non-slip mats and carpets, object grabber, medical equipment, massagers, shower chair, portable conversion commode, stainless steel grab bars, bed rails, mobility aids – the number of health care and support devices available is endless.
Thanks to these innovative devices, seniors can live independently and comfortably, without the fear of falls and other injuries, despite mobility restrictions.
Continued Education and Avenues to Explore Long-lost Passions
Today, retirement is all about rediscovering one’s passions. Learning a musical instrument, a new language, exploring new hobbies or even joining a formal educational institute – the choices available to seniors are limitless.
Also, thanks to improved air and land connectivity, plenty of senior-friendly hotels and accommodations, seniors today are travelling more than ever before. And, not just to pilgrimage centres but on adventure trips, yoga retreats, shopping vacations and more.
Increased Social Interactions and Connectivity
A few years ago, one of the biggest banes of old-age was the accompanying loneliness and depression. Thanks to advancements in technologies like the internet and the availability of smartphones, today’s seniors are the first generation of older adults to be connected digitally. This way, they stay connected with their families and friends, even if they are living miles apart.
Additionally, seniors today play an active role in their communities. From attending neighbourhood clubs, meetings, events, activities and more, the social life of modern-day seniors is buzzing. Several seniors today feel that their social connections have increased post-retirement, as they have ample time to meet, mingle and interact with other like-minded peers.
Almost all senior-living facilities offer true independent living for seniors. Right from choosing their accommodation style, interior design, dining preferences, levels of assistance, seniors are making all their choices. Catering to this new-gen of seniors who want to retain full control over their lives, senior citizen homes, and senior communities are adding more and more options for their residents.
A Fit Retirement
Today’s seniors realize the importance of being active. From taking part in low impact activities like swimming, walking, yoga to high impact activities like Pilates, aerobics and even taking part in marathons, today’s seniors show no signs of stopping.
Redefining Old-Age and Breaking Free from Shackles
That is the motto of this generation of seniors. From taking up entrepreneurship to travelling the world, the seniors of today are enjoying their life more fully and independently compared to other generations before them.
As noted above, advancements in medical assistance, physio and ortho instruments, and technology play a crucial role in improving the lifestyle of today’s senior. And, not to forget the various living options like independent living, assisted living, senior residential communities, and more provide a modern way for seniors to live independently and to the fullest.