|More Social Policy Investigations Coming Your Way: Active Aging!
Everywhere in the world there are worries about what we need to do with the increasing amount of elderly people living in the world. In the U.S. we have the baby-boomer scare, and in Japan this is much worse as they have an extremely old society that's only getting older.
There is a horrible scare about social security and pensions and health care and what happens when the elderly people use up all the resources. Through discussions with Candy and through discussions in my Social Welfare class, I have the solution! Active Aging!
Another Case Study from my dear dear dear most beloved friend Candy and my time at her house:
Meet Grandpa Candy.
ZhouTian's grandpa was a mildly formidable bold looking guy. Pretty tall and not fat, but tall and strong and tough. For whatever his faults, he was someone who evoked respect upon first laying eyes on him. These hard-working close to the land, quiet, yet strong character type people I believe can be found most places in the world, and every time I meet someone like that, I admire them, no matter their other faults. This strong silent type is something that is valued in most cultures, and I always envy the people who are close enough to be let into the thinking of these people because their thoughts must be the most honest and speculative.
He and ZhouTian's grandma ran a little window-making shop outside his house. I will post a picture. They treated us to two meals. One where her grandfather placed a goat-hoof on my plate. You can't say no to a goat-hoof when a guy like that gives it to you. It was good. The other was greens and chicken in a hot-pot near their house.
He has been running the same business for many years right out of his home, and probably will never retire.
His wife is the creator of the wonderful garden that Candy and I visited quite a few times I was at her home. She is also a strong woman, but as most woman are trained to do (Candy and I excluded in this...haha) I don't remember her much because she stayed behind the scenes most of my trip.
These guys are the solution to the old-age problem of the world. Active aging! They both have kept busy, they haven't stopped moving, and they have stayed socially engaged, both in their family and community. There marriage is traditional...not the hearts and roses we kids dream of nowadays, but through their marriage and individually they have stayed active. Not only are they not a burden on society, they are a benefit because of all their wisdom and knowledge. I want ZhouTian's grandma to explain to me how her garden is so beautiful and how she makes such good food over an open stove. (Yeah, she cooks over an open stove.) And I'm sure her Grandpa has tons and tons of life wisdom to share, and heck he's still running the local window business!
They are just positive examples, but truly they can set the standard for the so-called rapid aging society crises. If someone were to say give me a cost effective solution to rapid aging societies...the answer is so obvious. Active Aging. Truly, you are not old until you think you are old.