Sushila, 72 yrs

Jul 30th 2023

“I first felt like I was aging when I stopped working at 67. In the mornings, I thought, ‘Who am I?’, ‘How am I contributing?’. Then COVID hit and I was stuck in the house for two years, which made it worse for me. I started thinking about what I want to do and how I want to contribute to the community. I saw all the activities to be involved in and that changed my perspective. I’ve found my purpose in wanting to volunteer with seniors and community organizations. I want to make this a better place for those that are here now and those that come after us.

My social life has changed quite a bit because I don’t have the same friends. Some of my friends, the really true friends, we’re still connected. I always think, if I’m in trouble or if I need help, there’s only a handful of people that I would call. I’ve met a lot of great people, but I wouldn’t say they are the friends that I would call on all the time.

My mom passed away when she was 53. So, when I was getting to 53 I thought, ‘Am I going to live past 53?’. I had a real fear of it. My father passed away when he was 71. So, I’ve outlived both my parents. As long as I have a good quality of life, and my husband and I can support ourselves and live independently, I look forward to my life. But I don’t want to be at a point where I can’t take care of myself.

My husband can get very ill so I take care of him. It can be difficult because I have my own aches and pains. My husband and I love each other but being a caregiver brings so many emotions that we don’t openly talk about. I’ve written an article on CBC about how I’ve learned to understand and deal with my emotions.

Some of our seniors really need our help. Some seniors have low incomes. We see them alone and isolated. No one is checking on them in their homes. Some seniors are being abused, even by their own families. Some are new immigrant seniors who don’t understand the system. Our government needs to do more to care for them.”

You can read Sushila’s article on her experience as a caregiver here.