Independence can evoke different definitions at different ages. For a toddler, running around at will is independence. Not having to request their parents’ permission for anything defines teen independence. In the mid-age, it could be not juggling the various responsibilities or picking one option over the other due to various constraints. Everyone hopes to achieve complete independence and finally reach the ripe age.
However, when we become seniors, independence takes on many other hues. Since financial independence and health are two top reasons that can hinder a life of complete independence, one should always keep these paramount. Good health can help you get through your golden years in peace and happiness.
Senior independence can also have a funny take. Remember that Swiggy Ad where an uncle orders Gulab Jamun on the sly while watching cricket and gets caught by his wife?
Independence could mean being able to:
- eat what one loves!
- travel the world
- work through your bucket list
- wear what you want
- colouring your hair
- breaking stereotypes
- finding love and companionship
Indeed, it can mean different things to different people based on their circumstances and experiences. So, let’s explore what Samarth seniors have to say about it.
What does independence mean to Samarth seniors?
A whopping 58.1% of Samarth seniors have indicated through our survey that independence (physical, financial and emotional) is of prime importance to them. Not surprising, considering 56.1% live with their spouse, without other family members. They must fully understand the meaning. Understandably, our seniors have indicated it’s important for them to be able to live independently in their houses. Home is where the heart is. People want to feel comfortable by ageing in familiar conditions. Perhaps, that is the topmost reason behind 45.2% of seniors indicating a preference to continue living in their current living community.
Managing finances themselves is an essential aspect of independence (53.2%). However, the responses indicate quite a few (25.8%) are not fully confident about their ability to meet emergencies. This aspect is worrying, and we urge the people to work towards making it possible.
Follow our series of articles on fraud awareness, as 41.9% of you have indicated fear of fraud as the topmost reason for managing finances online. Old wisdom is always trustworthy. Many of you have urged saving and spending wisely to attain financial independence. Financial planning through professional advice, if required, also finds a place among your valuable suggestions.
Here is one suggestion which caught our eye because it matters: Don’t part with even your children during life but leave a WILL.
Note: The movie Baghban reflects the need to consider the above suggestion and realistically portrays the importance of financial planning, emotional independence, etc.
When it comes to physical independence, exercising regularly, regular check-ups and ensuring senior-friendly homes are what our seniors are advising. Interestingly, when it comes to the emotional aspect, our seniors urge people to forget what others think and participate in joyful activities. They also suggest seeking professional help when the need arises to discuss your issues.
How can seniors achieve true independence? One way is to avail of membership in senior communities like Samarth, which provides many value-added support services. Whether health, finance, travel or entertainment, we cover it all. Because we understand it takes a holistic approach.
However, it is always better to hear it from someone who is going through the same journey as you. Here is what 3 of our seniors want to convey about independence.
According to Mr. Vinay, ex- Chief Manager of a Nationalised Bank, “physical, emotional, and financial independence go hand in hand. Especially health (physical Independence) and financial independence are both 2 sides of a balance. You cannot be independent if you have to depend on your kids for money or if you are not physically well (Independent), all other things seem irrelevant. You should have good health to enjoy your money!”
Mrs. Mekhala, a vocal artist, poet & homemaker says that “though physical and emotional independence is primary for a wholesome life, independence is complete only when we are financially independent. Whatever the age, you get respect from everyone around you if you are completely financially independent!”
Mr. Y N Sharma, President of Kalkaji Sr Citizens Welfare Forum (450 Sr Citizens), says “Independence from the British has given a lot of freedom and self-awareness. So they know how all kinds of independence are important and he is blessed to have enough of them all. Emotional (Spiritual) independence to know how everything we have is the Grace of God (because of his education) is of top importance.”
We encourage our Samarth seniors to enjoy their senior years and explore all aspects of ageing independently and do it in the best way possible starting today!