Saturday, March 13, 2010

Why Do Senior Citizens Retire mentally too?

Why do senior citizens retire mentally as well?


Many senior citizens not only retire physically – stop away from active employment because the employer wants him to leave at certain specified age – but also mentally. They tell themselves and others: "From now on I can lead a retired life". By this they mean that they can limit their activities eating ,sleeping, watching TV and a certain inevitable activities like doing Puja, buying things etc. They do not like to take up another job even to keep themselves busy. They may not opt to learn anything new – another language, skill or practice – nor seek new friends or a different way of active life. They become passive and think: "my life is over; I am only waiting for His call". I do not understand why they become docile, lazy and prefer to lead a lethargic and passive life. This puzzles me.


Trying to seek reasons for this type of self-negation, a few ideas flash.  His father would have done the same. In earlier days it was thought perfectly OK to physically and mentally retire. Let youngsters take the reins of the household. Retirees were content with giving advice and perhaps interfering in everybody's life. It may also be that during his active life the work pressure and stress was really great (insurmountable?) and he was waiting to retire and 'enjoy' retirement by doing nothing in particular. In a few cases we find the children telling the father facing retirement: "Daddy, you have struggled enough for us. Now you take rest and retire. Take life easy".  Whatever might be the reason I feel that a passive life is not worth it. This is strong conviction.


If one should realize one's full potential, then mental retirement is detrimental to it. One should be enthusiastic about life and experience new activities and joys. It may be learning a new game, a new skill (example: how to use the PC), making new friends, joining clubs and associations etc. The list is endless and only imagination is needed to pick something useful. The brain will be actively used and one can ward off diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's.  By being helpful to society ones own self confidence increases and a sense of fulfillment arises. People tend to healthier, happier and better in all respects.


I believe in the statement:  "Once you lose enthusiasm for life, you are dead". Why lead a life like a vegetable when there are plenty of opportunities, avenues, help, resources and guidance is available just for the asking? If you are one who is planning to retire mentally too, just know: You are destined to do better than that.



  1. Another very well written article.

    I think a man is, inherently, LAZY. 'Let me enjoy rest and let others do all the toil. I deserve being looked after. In fact, I have earned it.' - seems to be the attitude of many seniors.

    To make such people act, sufficient incentive (in the after-life or in this life)or sufficient compulsion can work.

    Being naturally active and energetic, thereby maintaining excellent health, is a gift.

  2. True, why the retired persons mostly can not find their ways of exitence ? Active life while in service or in profession is one phase, entailing determination, target- achievement and challanges. Retirement is quite another. It is pchychological that nothing meaningful remains there to have mental stimulation. You can make new friends, learn new topics or you can be club-minded. These are all alternatives to active life, because it is necessary to pull on till the days of life expire. Of course age is a factor according to nature's dictat. Any attempt to resurrect vitality of mind in old age is retarded by self contradictions and also due to the fact that the whole of the society looks upon the aged people with compassion. It happens eventually and therefore it is not a pessimistic approach to life of the older generation. New friends can be found out but that warmth and bondage of friedship as it had been in young age will be absent. To try other areas for keeing mental reflexes on, would not be exciting, because it is human nature to find out something meaningful in any activity.

    Therefore, according to me it is not at all necessary to find out ways and means for maintaining the upbit mind of the old people. Never be keen to question your mind whether you are really old to take up any thing new. I feel that I should only accept whatever comes on my way of living without devising any formula of existence. Live with pleasure and leisure to the extent and amount as an old man contends. After all, every body has to pass this way once in life and no body shall pass that way again, left behind.

    Of course, reading, thinking and writing could be the immense pleasure and deep involvement of mind which is enriched by wisdom. Can we not dip therein ?

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  3. Most of the Senior Citizens are quite active and resourceful. Perhaps you are talking about the minority group that is frustrated with life and keeps sulking away from active life.

  4. I have never said the senior citizns are frustrated. They are a class by itself. They have their own way of living compared to the people who live an active life to fulfill their materialistic aims and objectives before they enter into the retired life. Of course, the senior citizens are resourceful because they saw the life more than the people in active phase. But their activity automatically gets limited, unless it is a compulsion, may be due to less energy or due to less cognizance in the society.

    I have stated only the facts of life and the way to live as I felt best.