While there have been scores of articles / write-ups on what to do for senior citizens, it is equally important to look at the issues / things one SHOULD NOT DO, meaning we should avoid doing them. The axiomatic understanding is that evading to do certain things will enable an elderly person to lead a secure, better and happier life. These are not prescriptive thoughts; rather these are common sense ideas that are quite practical and meaningful.
Five (5) things NOT TO DO:
The five (5) cardinal thoughts of the basket of not to do list of things include:
1. Do not dictate terms: Elderly people should understand that they are now retired and do not enjoy any more authority as in the past. Sooner the realization dawns, better it is. It is appropriate to understand this reality and proceed in life. And the fundamental approach to retired life is that you should not dictate terms to anyone (as may be in the past) and take life easy. If there is any clash or misunderstanding or conflict, please ignore it without imposing your views. “Let Go” is the feeling with which you should proceed as that is the best way forward in an elderly lifespan. This “Let Go” attitude will prevent any serious fallout.
2. Do not interfere: This is another important thought. We often see incidents of interfering in lives of children / grandchildren by elderly people as one of the major sources of friction in families. Everyone has their ways of leading lives and taking decisions for own future. Elderly people should refrain from interfering in decision-making processes of their children / grandchildren or other relatives. They may only give an opinion on a particular issue, if at all asked for; unsolicited advice should also not be given, the principle being that let others lead their own lives as they wish. This non-interreference will definitely improve quality of family relationship.
3. Do not give your property while you are alive: It is very important to understand this issue. All our property will pass on to the next generation whether through the instrument of Will or otherwise after we leave this world. If we want to bequeath our property to any of our special loving person, we can do so through a Will so that the title passes on to desired inheritor. What is suggested is that we should not give all our property to our successors while we are alive and then live at their mercy. This could be the breeding ground for an elder abuse or incidental abandonment. Best of situations can often go out of hand, best of relationships can falter and we will be left with nothing, if there is parting of ways. Ideal course of action is to bequeath assets to loved ones (through a Will) but enjoy the same (assets including property) till we are alive so that we are safe and secure at least financially.
4. Do not get attached: One of the biggest lessons for an elderly is to come out the world of attachment. Here the word attachment does not mean detachment from the world. What it means is that elderly should remain connected with the world / family / friends / nature / self but without being attached with the worldliness or material satisfaction. What it means is that he / she should not expect any reciprocal benefit from others. Trying to develop a philosophical approach towards the world would facilitate developing this attitude of being connected without attachment. Leading life without attachment is the best way to lead the last phase of life.
5. Do not worry: This is the ultimate in the overall basket of thought process of not doing attitude. Life is a journey and every journey has an end point. All our acquaintances are fellow travellers in this train journey; they get up at some stations and get down at some others. The philosophical meaning is that we have come to the world to traverse a journey that will end someday. As age progresses, health degenerates, mind becomes slower, we may also lose some of our close ones but that is part of life. We do not get anything by worrying; we rather aggravate / complicate our own issues / problems. Let us, therefore, take life as it comes and enjoy every moment. That is the philosophy behind the principle of Do not Worry.
Our ultimate intention is to lead a happy and contented life despite all associated issues and problems. Above list of NOT TO DO THINGS may possibly help us to lead a better life. Let us follow the said principles and lead a happier life. It is difficult to practise some of them in reality. But let us try to accomplish as much as we can.