Radio Cadena Agramonte
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Thursday, November 14, 2019

The elderly in the eyes of the young

By Dania Díaz Socarrás / Radio Cadena Agramonte

Life works through cycles in which we rarely stop to think:

One of them takes us through the years we live, those that begin in the baby stage, when we depend completely on our parents, and that end when we need the family again at every step, in the third age.

That is precisely why we must not lose sight of the fact that older adults, that population segment that grows in Cuba, are the expression of what we aspire to be before ending the cycle of our existence.

Thus we have, on the one hand, the need to think like future grandparents and ensure our welfare in the old age from today and, on the other, the imperative to care for the elderly as we would like them to take care of us once that the time arrives.

Generally, thinking about the future since we are kids makes us predict our future profession, our couple, the family we want to build; however, few imagine those last years, which we must also think about.

Because the optimism of living a long existence fully translates into reaching old age someday, as in the same way we need to work to ensure economic sustainability and later retirement, we also need to fulfill the roles of parents, siblings and grandparents.

Only that bond of love through the years will ensure that necessary affection in the moments when child sensitivity will return, to tackle loneliness and demand family support.

From another perspective, we play the role of children and grandchildren again, because while these are the roles, we must know how to make our grandparents happy.

And for this it is not enough that they have food in the fridge, or that they might be assissted by the elderly care institutions, which does not exonerate family from their duty to give them affection.

They need us to ask them how they are, what they feel, what worries them, that we cherish them like children and share a conversation, that we take care of them without overprotecting them, and that we love them above any difference.

It is us who must support them to have their own spaces of socialization and recreation, inside and outside the home, and thus help them to be happy, not as we want, but as they really can be. (Photo: Archive)