Friday, April 20, 2012

You will live to 100

I was reading Gintai's blog post on "Live to a Hundred" and decided to try the "Living to 100: Life Expectancy Calculator". Here's my result.

I am not surprised. My grandparents passed away at age 70+, 80+, and 90+. I live a simple lacto-ovo vegetarian life and try to manage my stress levels (errmm, not very much since relocating to Canada). I try to create new experiences to keep me learning about life.

IMHO, Canada is a good place to grow old in. According to a Yahoo! news article today, the oldest known Canadian just passed away at age 113. It also mentioned that, "According to Statistics Canada, there are more than 6,000 Canadians aged 100 or more." 6,000 out of a population of 35 million.

If the above percentage is translated to Singapore-citizen population of 3 million, we should expect about 514 elderly aged 100 or more in Singapore. SG Girl's comment on Gintai's post raises common Singaporean concerns,
"Who wants to live till 100 when (1) most of your friends (if not all) would be dead; (2) your children would likely be dead too and (3) do you have enough cpf money left to eat 3 meals a day?"
Her concerns are real, albeit they carry some common misperceptions about growing old. For the average Singaporean, concern #3 regarding financial sufficiency during retirement is highly dependent on government policies. I don't have a solution to that, other than emigration. Which reminds me of a recent blog post by LIFT regarding the non-effectiveness of Singapore Day to attract overseas Singaporeans to return to Singapore.

Here's my comment in reply to SG Girl on Gintai's blog.
There are ways to counter the issues raised.
(1) Friends: Keep being active in life. Meet and make new friends. More and more of my friends are now younger than (middle-aged) me, some even 20 years younger! I am, in turn, a new friend to some elderly retirees.
(2) [Children would be dead.] Not so if they inherited your longevity genes, healthy lifestyle practices and of course watch out on the road etc so that they don’t langgar. That said, I don’t have any children, so it is a moot point for me.
(3) [No $ for 3 meals a day.] Make enough $ for your own financial independence or migrate to countries where the elderly are better supported. 
I recently nursed elderly who are in their 80′s and 90′s. One 98 years-old lady is still mentally sharper than many young adults and has a positive mindset despite her acute (i.e. short-term) hospitalization. Maybe that she was previously a psychologist helps with preparing her mindset for aging? I don’t know. Nevertheless, having seen how happy healthy-aging can be, I am not afraid of growing old.
p.s. According to "Canadian Fundamentals of Nursing - 4th Edition" by Potter & Perry,
"Most older adults live in non-institutional settings, either with family members or alone (28.9% of older adults live alone). Only 7.4% of all older adults reside in institutions such as long-term care facilities."
Indeed, I often see elderly getting about shopping, strolling, hanging out with friends, while pushing their wheelie walkers here in Metro Vancouver. Sometimes it makes me wonder where have all the Singaporean elderly gone? Not JB, I hope.

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