Some senior citizens have the right attitude, take things in their stride, plan well their post-retirement life and keep their body and mind in reasonable good trim. They largely have a positive approach. There are others who take a dim view of life and think of retirement as something of a punishment. While the optimists keep themselves busy with productive work, the pessimists become dejected, feel neglected and find fault with everyone.
Family situations and financial position do play a part in influencing the lives of elders. Some are fortunate to live with their children or within their reach in the same city/town. They lead a relatively satisfied life. The longer the distance, the greater their feeling of insecurity and loneliness. If the children are within the country, the parents are fairly satisfied — they can visit them or the children can come home for occasions like marriages and festivals. The pangs of separation and the fear of loneliness, on the other hand, increase if the children live abroad. Thus the elders' lives are situation-dependent.
The presence of relatives and old-age homes, however comfortable, cannot provide for emotional needs. Some people overcome the blues by taking recourse to cultural and social activities but others suffer silently. Low income and poor health aggravate the misery.
Thus arises the question whether senior citizens are an asset or liability to the families and society at large. My answer is they are undoubtedly an