Episode 39 : Ageing : Beautiful, but not without its hazards

Episode 39 : Ageing : Beautiful, but not without its hazards

Ageing is a natural process that we all go through. As we grow old, we begin to lose our faculties and thence our friends. Human connection is what we crave for the most when we grow older, and studies have shown that lack of human contact can lead one to an early grave. For after all no one can live as an island. A team from Newskarnataka recently went to an event organised by AGE Mangalore to witness a community of the elderly, celebrating the 80th birthday of a few of its members. Action Group for Elderly (AGE) Mangalore, is a dynamic networking organisation for the elderly precisely to provide continuing human contact and activity. As a part of their community driven activities, they held a felicitation event on January 30, to honour the members who have reached the age of 80. It was an evening of laughter and celebration and the atmosphere of joy was contagious. The participants looked younger than ever. It was heartening to see their desire to stay connected and "leave no man behind" attitude. Age, as some may put it, is just a number and growing old is a unique experience. The chance to see children, grand children and even great grand children growing up in front of your eyes is a beautiful thing. Being able to celebrate with family and friends is what gives joy to most people in their old age. Many people go through their entire lives healthy and care free but, for some others the same does not hold true as a long life sometimes comes at a cost. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia and it plays with an individual's memory, thinking and even personality. Symptoms usually develop slowly and usually at an older age but gets worse over time. In severe cases of Alzheimer's the patient can find it difficult to perform simple daily tasks. It is also not a normal part of the ageing process. People who 65 years of age and older are usually susceptible to the disease. In rare cases, it can affect people younger than 65. Being a progressive disease, Alzheimer's patients' symptoms will worsen with time. Unfortunately, the disease does not yet have a cure but, treatment for the symptoms are available, and it is even possible to slow the progress of the disease. It is incredibly painful for people to witness family members suffer from the disease as very often, the patient mistakes the identity of their close ones or even forget them entirely. It is not easy to care for someone with Alzheimer's as they often forget simple tasks or routes, even within their own home. Many also have a tendency to flee and as a result, might end up getting lost. In severe cases, patients are usually put into special facilities with round the clock care to make their lives a lot easier. Advances in medicine may have increased our lifespans but, it could never have predicted the consequences of a longer life. Ageing may be natural but it is not easy, especially considering the difficulties one will have to face when they are older. We must therefore, commit ourselves to helping our near and dear ones grow old gracefully in any way we can.
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