Old people : The difference between the west and the east.

@vega83 (6346)
Bahrain
July 11, 2007 5:53am CST
Well, I live in the Middle East and I know lots about other Asian countries as well, and have friends from most Asian backgrounds too. Anyway, I was watching this show "what not to wear" and in this particular episode, the gals were making over a couple of 70+ ladies, and it was nice to see that both these ladies still had a life, and still liked to do things and have activities and look good and all that stuff. But I've met many old people here, and they all seem so different. It's almost like they've given up on life, and just waiting for the "big" day. They don't dress up or if they've lost a partner, then they don't think it's "appropriate" to look for another. They are mostly thought and expected to be deeply religious by now, even if they weren't religious at all when they were young. I mean it's sad, to think that if you're at a certain age, that you should stop dreaming and wanting. I've noticed it a lot, that old people of the west and east are so different from each other in this respect. But I'm not sure, because I don't know many old people from the West, or from the East for that matter. So you tell me, whether you're from the West or the East, what are old people like where you are? Could there be any truth to what I'm speaking about or is it just my faulty observation?
5 people like this
11 responses
@PunkyMcPunk (1477)
• Canada
11 Jul 07
Greetings from the West and North lol (Canada) My grandma is 84 years old. She is old. She has health issues. She barely moves, she has her supper brought to her, she uses a cane, she has one of us grandkids, sponge bath her. She goes to the bathroom and we must help her pull down her pants and then pull them back up. She has everything brough to her. She shuffles around and it takes her a good 10 minutes to walk probably 20 steps (no exaggeration). The family was really worried. My gran used to walk miles everyday. She used to help out in the barn and grow this HUGE garden... She was always very active. So we went to the doctors. Do you know what is wrong with her? Nothing. She once told me and my mom... "I looked after you (to my mom) when you were a baby. I wiped your bum, I fed you your meals, I changed you, now it's your turn to return the favour". My jaw hit the floor. My gran doesn't do a danged thing because she thinks she deserves to have us wait on her hand and foot, which my mom is doing. I've seen my gran (when she thinks no one is looking) get up and go to the kitchen and make herself a sandwich and she was walking around like she was my age. When there are people there she acts so feeble and groans and complains all the time. I want to shout at her and tell her I saw her!! But she is my gran and I can't ever bring myself to disrespect her like that. yet I know an old lady who is 93 (so she is almost 10 years older than my gran) and although she is slowing down she still has a little garden, flower beds, she has a few chickens she uses for eggs, she goes on bus tours and is part of a lady's group. She volunteers at church and in all honesty, she's probably healthier than I at 26 years old am lol. So like a lot of people have mentioned it is up to the person themselves how they end up when they get old. When I am older I want to be alive. I want to travel, I want to play with my grandkids (hoping I have a whole bunch). I want to be a cool old person.
2 people like this
• Canada
12 Jul 07
I love the comparisions...great response. Also love your own attitude. I am sure you will succeed in being a cool old person. You viewpoint fits perfectly with mine...you are only you once but you can be a kid forever...you go girl! Rock on.
1 person likes this
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
12 Jul 07
Hey punky mcpunk, I agree with perspectives there, You do have a great attitude, and something similar to mine, I've always been lively and have always believed in keeping the child inside me alive. People always wonder why I'm so happy all the time, and the reason is that I choose to be happy and to live, life is short. It's all about how you view life and embrace it, so I guess it doesn't depend on where you are, but really who you are and who you choose to be.
@rinaaus (1203)
• Australia
11 Jul 07
Yes, it's very different from west to east. I'm Asian too, I also see that difference as you said. However, i don't agree with you that's not good thing. Diffrent countries are different cultures. how do you know that these Eastern elders are not happy when they did not do things like the western people do. The important is they are happy, not what they are doing.
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
11 Jul 07
Yeah, I guess if whatever they do makes them happy then that's the important thing, I was just wondering what kind of old person I would be.
@kelly60 (4548)
• United States
11 Jul 07
I don't know any older people from the east so I really can't speak for them, but I can tell you about some of the ones I know from the US. My grandmother is in her 90s, and she isn't looking for anyone new since she lost her husband a few years ago, but at her age, I guess I can't blame her. She doesn't go out of her way to fix herself up because she doesn't go out much, but she still enjoys going out with us to dinner or whatever sometimes. She isn't a particularly religious person, but hasn't given up on life either. I have a good friend who goes out to karaoke with me quite often. He is 88 years old and happily married. He has a great outlook on life. He sings, he dances, he has a few drinks, and has a good time. His wife is a couple of years younger, and although she isn't doing nearly as well medically, she still comes out when she can. She is a very nice lady but can really get after him when he doesn't do what she thinks he should. They both strive to look their best, making sure that every hair is in place. I have several other older friends too who fit into the category above. They love life and make the most of it. Most of them try to look their best at all times. A couple of single ladies that I know are actively searching for a partner. Most of the ones I am referring to are not overly religious. They are all good people.
1 person likes this
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
12 Jul 07
I guess it all depends on individuals then, just like young people are so different too. I mean some of us are so energetic and embrace life and try new things and some are not so much. So I guess how you are in the rest of your life is how you would be in your elderly life too. Thanks for the response.
@kelly60 (4548)
• United States
12 Jul 07
You Are As Young As You Feel - I have known some very young people who acted as if they were in their 80s, yet I have also known some elderly people who still act like kids. I can only speak for the ones I know, but I think that age has a lot to do with attitude.
True, I think that since they are all individuals, we can't accurately judge them by the area where they live. I think that attitude has a lot more to do with it than location.
1 person likes this
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
15 Jul 07
Yeah, exactly, so now I guess that answers my question, that it's not the place but the attitude and perception of life.
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
11 Jul 07
I am from the West. As far as older people, I think it depends exactly on the person. I don't want to steroetype people based on age or gender or country. I am closer to becoming one of them myself than not. lol. While I might be interested in some activities and "old person interests", I am not going to go into a senior home and have my days planned for me. I have my own plans, desires and dreams. I am looking for that special someone and I will dress any way I like to be comfortable. I don't want to be lumped in with "average" senior as far as my life goes. I have little control over when I leave the planet, but that will not stop me from persuing my dreams.
1 person likes this
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
12 Jul 07
Yeah, I guess that's the attitude I would want to see in everyone, just striving for happiness, not caring what the world thinks, I think if I make it to that age, I'll probably the same kind of senior citizen.
• China
12 Jul 07
well,I admire your courages,efforts and pursuits so much.life is life,life is not only what you achieved or not but what you experence that matters.It just seems that the process of experience is really something important.From what you said and you did ,i believe,you will agree with the above point of view. lol...... when i was a child ,my mum often said :"life lies on experence." when i saw your response ,i remenber my mum's words.:)
1 person likes this
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
15 Jul 07
Those are powerful words your mom said.
@gilly123 (157)
13 Jul 07
Wow this is a hard one!well here in the uk the older generation seem to be very young at heart,i think in the modern west we are more extrovert in are thinking,in the east i think you tend to be more traditional in your belifes and customs(which is no bad thing)and don`t lets forget each family is influenced by there own families and how we are exspected to behave to family and other people,also i believe poverty has a sad but long lasting affect on peoples aspirations!
1 person likes this
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
15 Jul 07
Yeah, I guess it's not just about the geographical location but sometimes the influence of culture and society and family and then the individual themselves.
@aissha (2036)
• India
12 Jul 07
hi there vega u know why i respond to al ur discussions even that doesn't concern me? very simple because u always respond to each and every response u get that is exactly mylot is about,good girl. hey u must be knowing we indians wear sarees when we 'grow up' specially married woman ,though trend is changing today and women are wearing jeans and minnies.i wear salwars -kurtas as they are mkost comfortable and easy to wear,i have seen old women wearing jeans and skirts in their 60s and 70s and i really don't appreciate them i think saree is the best dress for women and any age any nationality they look graceful and beautiful, makeover is all about ur attitude even u wear a saree u can be a crowd puller,dresses really don't matter. being religious is not make u old fashioned it gives u way of .life but any should not be blind follower of something,have ur own mind ur thoughts then u have ur own personality and for that lots of readings ,observations are required not a dress.
1 person likes this
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
12 Jul 07
Hey Aissha, well I love commenting on responses, that's why I start discussions, and your responses are always welcome and appreciated. I see what you mean, but I guess with old ladies wearing jeans and stuff, is more of a body or fashion issue than of age. I mean, when I saw that show, the 70 year olds actually made their purchases from the same stores that teenagers buy their clothes at, but it's all about dressing according to your body and personality. I was mainly concerned about the attitude and demeanor of the elderly and if it was an east-west thing or if it was just an individual thing. From reading most responses here, I realize that there are both kinds of old people everywhere, some just choose to give up on life and some choose to embrace it. I would definitely embrace life as I always do when I become an old lady.
• United States
12 Jul 07
I think it depends on how you look at aging. I am in the West,U.S.A to be exact. Here you can find people that think if they are 60 or older , their life is over and you can find 80 year olds that are graduating college or starting new careers.And in some places if you are in your 60's or older, you are suppose to be religious.I remember when I would go out with my mom and a lot of people would see her gray hair and assume that she was a church attending lady when she was an agnostic.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jul 07
Well I cant say anything for the old people from the East or West Coast but I can comment on the North and South. I personally have a grandmothers that one live in the North and the other live in the South. The one in the North is more laid back she Dresses up only on the weekend the rest of the week she is in pants and a tshirt. The one in the South she has to match everything. She dresses up 24-7. Now they both love flowers and love to spend time with the grands but the biggest difference is in the way they dress and their mentality on fashion. go figure.
1 person likes this
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
12 Jul 07
Well, the way I figure it is then that it's all based on what the individuals are like. I mean even in the young, we see the lively and happy and the sad and depressed, so it just depends on who we are as individuals and how we perceive life and embrace it.
@diannebcrs (1549)
• Philippines
11 Jul 07
in my country, the Filipina old ladies are not expected to put make up and care so much about how they look anymore. instead a lot of old ladies are either trying to earn for a living or are often seen in the church. they're pretty conservative and i think romance is just out of the question. my grandma wears her favorite pearls and all that but i think it's more of because it's become routinary for her, rather than for aesthetic purposes.
1 person likes this
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
12 Jul 07
But would a person who did decide to live their life, and find love be looked down upon? That's what I want to know, maybe some old ladies like going to church, but it would be sad if the only reason that they went is because it's expected of them.
• United States
11 Jul 07
I can't speak for other old people, but I haven't given up entirely. Ok, I'm not that old. But 'you're as old you feel' has some truth to it. Old folks in the West have probably had easier lives and better medical care, and so are in better shape, physically and mentally. Western countries, particularly the US worship youth, and encourage old people to not give up them dreams, and to keep a youthful approach. The downside is a lack of respect for age and growing old gracefully. While it's cute to see old people looking sporty, some look ridiculous. But hey I guess if they're happy, go for it, right?
1 person likes this
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
12 Jul 07
Yeah, I guess in the end all that matters is the happiness of the individual whatever that may mean to them, I mean, happiness means different things to different people, and if they're happy in whatever they're doing then, that's great.
@myfanwy65 (1030)
• United States
11 Jul 07
I live in the southeast US. There are two types of old people here, in my opinion. The ones who are physically able to have a good life and those that are not. The ones that are not physically able to have a good life are thought of as a burden by most people. They are put away in homes where most are poorly cared for. A few are lucky enough to have people who love them to take care of them. The ones who are physically able to have a good life are usually out there having fun because they realize all too well that life is short and should be enjoyed while you have the chance.
1 person likes this
@vega83 (6346)
• Bahrain
12 Jul 07
That sounds a bit depressing, at least one half of that. Yeah, life is too short, and I think we don't need to get old to realize that, it's true for all of us, young or old.