Dr. Louis Brown Ogbeifun

Accredited Mediator | Certified Professional Manager and Trainer in Workplace Conflicts


Embracing the Journey: Navigating the Challenges and Joys of Aging

The challenge of degenerative changes in old age is natural and real. Most aging persons wake up with joint pains, blurry eyes, an inability to read, see familiar objects and distances, phobias, etcetera. Not to worry, getting old is part of our earthly journey. However, some with God’s abundant grace and mercies look many years younger than their ages with no speck of ailment.

Aging can be exciting to some and painful to others. I am not oblivious about pensioners that are owed years of pension arrears or those that never worked and, therefore, have no pension or people to care for them. To this group of people, the government must find a way of alleviating their pains and worries. It is a sin to God and man to make anyone go hungry and talkless of the elderly.

But generally, aging comes with wisdom and forces the aged to live the “one day at a time mantra” because the oldies’ needs are getting fewer and fewer by the day. Aging confers respect and dignity. There are so many perks to aging. In some climes, senior citizens come first in everything and never go hungry because the state pays them stipends.

As we age, people often are ready to lend a helping hand. Some banks create a particular line for senior citizens, and all the harassment of our youthful years by the police on traffic duties would suddenly disappear. It is also a time one is only answerable to no boss. Some organizations even dispense their pension stipends before payroll staff. What a privilege?

As I discussed aging with one of my elders, he told me of a man who had smashed his mirrors several times. To him, the mirror was not a reflection of his true self. Some have also torn recent photographs of themselves because they can not come to terms with the facial curvatures that look 360° skewed toward the skeletal phase of life. This group of people sees aging as unfair and unkind.

In contrast, some others in the same group are happy because they look pretty the same, and even if looking more aged than they thought, they had found a way of thanking God for His grace and mercy that kept them alive when many of their age mates had died.

As some of the age-old battle with their looks, some of the younger generations, in contrast, love the eyes of the aged. For example, some of them like grey, fluffy hair and go ahead to change the color of their hair to grey. This group has found a way to deal with their worries and have inner peace.

The demographic group that prefers something younger feels betrayed by age. Aging could be painful because of health challenges. Irrespective of that, we only need truth management and accepting old age as a reality. To find inner happiness and cope with it, I encourage the aged to find new interest areas like writing, singing, dancing, reading books, and finding what works for them as an individual. Scriptural texts are plentiful in this direction.

Another step that may help is to consult with experts in nutrition, healthy living, nature-friendly practitioners, geriatric specialists, etc. Some of the recommended steps to avoid the stress of aging is to prevent stressors as much as possible. It is not now we worry about building palatial mansions and driving exotic cars. Though I find it difficult, as we get older, we are advised to sleep for a minimum of eight hours per day, have routines of exercise for at least thirty minutes daily, stay hydrated, detoxify, and engage in laughter-induced activities.

We are encouraged to eat little as we age to avoid overfilling the stomach. This is particularly important because our organs, especially the liver, cannot cope with food overload as we age. We are also encouraged to make others happy through charity work and finding time to relate with those of our ages, that is, schoolmates, workmates, classmates, etc. Whichever group we belong to, what matters is finding happiness and ways of maintaining our homeostasis to prevent high blood pressure and other sundry stressed induced ailments.

As we move closer to the home call at our ripe age, today, we have, let us enjoy it. Tomorrow is out of our control; let us learn to deal with it when the day breaks. Before tomorrow, please, let us find time to eat well, exercise, unwind and sleep well at nightfall today.

Grace and peace!!