|Written by Freya Najade|
|25 Feb 2010|
Old people don’t just fear illness but also, and especially, invisibility. Living in a youth-crazed society the elderly are often stigmatised as sick, weak, or poor. The thought of old people as active, emotional and sexual human beings rarely crosses our minds. The idea of learning from elders is increasingly abandoned and aging citizens continue to be marginalised. What happened to the times when the old were the wise and taught the young about life? Having so little knowledge about the elderly, I went to retirement communities to find out more.
“If you are lucky, you get old” comprises of the stories of the elderly people I met and spent time with. To my surprise, the old people were not just proud of their age and the fact that they made it to this point in their lives, they were also still falling in love and breaking up. They were overcoming their lifetime partner’s death, living out their erotic fantasies or dealing with the loss of their sexual desire. Talking to them showed that inner growth is a continual process and that even people over 70 years of age continue to love, suffer, long, dream and have sexual feelings. It showed me foremost that the old are still the wise.