Megha, 22 yrs

Feb 27th 2022

“Generally, in society, we kind of view aging as an inevitable dreadful thing. Of course you want to try to take care of yourself as best as you can, but there is a misconception that if you’re as healthy as possible, you won’t age, and I think that’s a really negative view of aging. It’s about taking care of my body so that I’m able to experience these things as optimally as possible, and not in the sense of, 'I’m doing this so I don’t become old'. Health and youth seem to go hand-in-hand in our society.

I remember a situation at work where a young girl came in with her boyfriend to get a camera. Even though the girl was buying the camera for herself, the boyfriend rudely convinced her not to get it. Once they left, my co-worker who is in her 60s, said 'If I were her, I would have just got the camera and dumped the boyfriend' and I was so surprised, because you wouldn’t expect to hear that from an older adult. I think there’s a false perception that older adults, particularly older women, are quite complacent in their relationships. I don’t think we give older people enough credit to progress and change with the times and remain open-minded and interactive with younger people.

In India, while we do respect older adults, we infantilize them when things go wrong such as with health issues, and that could be to their own and their family’s detriment. We put them on a pedestal and keep them in the dark so nothing can worry them, and that needs to change. But there is a level of deeper respect for older adults and what they can offer. Since I was young, I was always surrounded by older adults. My grandparents lived with me, and when my parents were working, they were always the ones looking after me. A lot of Canadian kids don’t see their grandparents that often, which for me is unheard of, because I see my grandparents all the time, and I think a lot of immigrants can say the same. I think we should integrate more older people in different spaces like workplaces and raising children so that we can see what it is like to grow old and not fear it.”