Updated on: Friday, August 06, 2021, 10:25 AM IST

Senior Citizens: Developing balanced mix of four quotients is necessary for a happy life





Word Quotient here means characteristics or degree of prominence in a specific aspect of personality. Human personality is made up of various traits / qualities of varying degrees. Importance of these quotients has often been discussed for youth and professionals for their success in life. However, theses quotients are equally important for elderly people as well.

Types of Quotients (Qs):

The four quotients that enable senior citizens to live a happy life are:

Intelligence Quotient (IQ): It is an indicator of a person’s relative intelligence. It demonstrates his / her competency in not only lower levels of cognitive skills like numeracy and other basic literacy traits but also higher-level cognitive skills like problem solving, analytical ability, critical thinking and innovative approach.

For an elderly to live happily, he / she should have minimum IQ to lead an active life. These include ability to take care of following with rational understanding / intelligence:

1. Pursuing an alternative second career

2. Managing own health

3. Handling personal finances

4. Developing a passion / hobby to keep busy. This is with a view to do what one wanted to do in life but could not due to rush of life.

5. Keeping a daily routine and actively trying to ensure that everything is fine at one’s end

6. Preparing a Will to bequeath the property

7. And finally trying to keep mentally fit and agile all the time.

Emotional Quotient (EQ): It indicates how a person is able to manage his / her emotions in a positive way with reference to not only his / her own self but also others. In other words, it signifies emotional maturity of an individual as reflected in one’s behaviour with others in terms of inter-personal relationship or communication or influences. Very often EQ has been found to be more important than IQ for managing life’s issues.

For an elderly person, concept of EQ is extremely crucial and manifests in following aspects:

1. Proper and sound interaction with family members that is construed as healthy and non-interfering

2. Healthy relationship with all

3. Staying connected with all: family, friends, new groups like walking groups / laughing clubs, communities, to keep mentally engaged

4. Avoiding depression / anxiety

5. Keeping mentally engaged in various actives.

Spiritual Quotient (SQ): It primarily indicates philosophical aspects of life. It denotes feeling of oneness with the Universe, ability to connect with general goodness of life and faculty to think / feel beyond the common senses. A person with a high SQ would usually be detached from worldly pleasure, believe in minimalism and have wisdom on his / her side.

For an elderly person, having and maintaining SQ is important as one of the essentials to develop some amount of philosophical attitude with a sense of minimalism. Thus, giving to others in need should be developed as a habit. Similarly, an elderly person is advised to spend some time with his / own self with a purpose of discovery and feeling of detachment. Meditation may be of useful tool in this voyage. Some seniors may prefer to spend time in temples or other places of worship to seek solace in journey of life and that helps in developing SQ.

Resilience Quotient (RQ): Life is full of ups and downs. A person with higher level of RQ is one who does not give up, strives hard to come out of adversities / failures and has a strong willingness to run again. RQ is an absolute imperative to survive in this complex world.

As an elder, we are bound to face adversities in terms of our failing health / depleting resources or loss of some near and dear ones. RQ enables one to face these difficulties boldly and helps in re-running race of life. It must be appreciated that life is full of joys as well as sorrows; RQ helps us to overcome pangs of sorrow.

Analysis and Conclusion:

Above analysis indicates that for happiness in life, an elderly person needs to possess all the four quotients. IQ will help us lead a meaningful and rational / logical life; we cannot live a life happily without EQ as it facilitates us manage our emotions and deal with others. We may have adequate IQ and EQ but still may not be contented if we do not have SQ as it helps us with dawn of wisdom and philosophical attitude in whatever we do. And finally, in old age, we must have adequate RQ as shock absorption capacity.

Some say old age is a difficult period. All of us, however, have to pass through this phase of life. The Success Mantra for an elderly person would be to have all the four quotients in abundance. Equipped with knowledge and practice of these quotients, our journey as senior might become much smoother.

Dr A K Sen Gupta, Co-Founder and Chief Trustee of My Retired Life Foundation (MRLF). He may be contacted at or 9821128103.

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Published on: Saturday, August 07, 2021, 10:23 AM IST