Saturday, June 13, 2009

The grim reality of being old.

I was pretty disturbed by the letter I got from a new blogger friend, Julie. She is looking into losing her job in a weeks' time and she is very heart broken with the prospect of unemployment. She is over 50 years old and she narrated to me how her friend who is 65, was told to pack up and vacate her desk - just like that.

While hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs this year, I would agree that it is the older group that is being hit hardest. As their working lives are cut prematurely short and their ability to pay into pensions becomes impossible, they now fear to face the double whammy of financial hardship and a retirement marred by poverty later.

Of course, there are government legislation being put in place to protect workers 50 and over against age discrimination in the workplace, but in reality, the attitudes of employers and wider society hasn’t kept pace with the law!!!

For Julie who will lost her job, the future looks bleak: because the odds of finding another job are sadly stacked against older people. Besides the skills needed to find a new job in today’s marketplace are very different.

My heart just bleeds though when I know that she won't be getting a social security pension and on top of that she still worries about house mortgage payment. I didn't know getting old in other countries is a lot tougher than I originally perceived it to be. I believe older folks today don't really fear international terrorism. Their fears are more economic in nature. When I look around and I see that so many old persons who have worked their entire life are in such bad condition and they really don’t have enough money to live, I think you get frightened a bit.

Here, our older folks enjoy retirement because it is us, the children, and not the government who makes sure they are taken care of. We lavish them with attention and each child would provide the parents monthly allowances. So yes, it does pay to have many kids, hahaha!

My dad who is now the more senior member of the family after grand mother died, even enjoy allowances from nieces and nephews. My cousins set aside a part of their salary and deposit them (as they are scattered around the globe now) to a single account which another cousin had access to and she in turn, give this to my dad every month. No it isn't an obligation, they do it out of love.

I will turn 47 next month and even when retirement is still far fetched, I would like to think that I don't have anything to fear when I get 60 and over.

Please visit Julie's page and give her moral support. She is a former news writer and she writes very interesting story and funny anecdotes. She may lost her job, but let her gain more friends...


Tracey said...

That's amazing that the family take care of the older generation in your country, and, out of love and not necessity! They must work hard to support their own families and the old folk.

Love Tracey xxx

Odette said...

it doesn't apply to all, Trace. some family too just don't care, but i know of most families who does.
also it's the way our old folks had instill in us not to be selfish but help those family member who are in need.

Tracey said...

Just been on the phone to Amy & she's really happy 'coz she's 'chatting' to you on MSN!



Another splendid post hun. How sad, but as tracey said it is awesome that your culture sticks together. That's the way it should be in life hun!!!

Thank you again for everything

Amy said...

It is lovely how you all stick together...we all do in our family.

Great talking to you earlier!

Amy xxxx

The PURE Gardener, Inc. said...

I fully support having grandparents in the home with their families. They have so much to give and have so much knowledge. Especially when children are involved. When my mother and father lived with me, from time to time, it was a joy. Excellent post. Very sad how people, one by one, are being plucked out of the workforce.

rattles said...


Another fabulous post hon. Our country could learn a lot from yours on how to take care of our elderly - I worked in a nursing home when i left school for about 5 years whilst I was studying. I hated the way that some of the so called carers treated the residence - I always treated them in the same way i would my own grandparents with love and respect and dignity - spending a few minutes chatting to them as i walked by their rooms asking them if they were ok or if they wanted a drink (whether it was drink time or not) as I felt it was the least they deserved - I was regularly told off for wasting works time by talking to the residents or making them extra drinks - I hated it - It was appauling and often found residents who'd be left sitting in dirty pads for hours as other carers didnt check on them regularly. Needless to say I left as i couldnt handle the neglect or hardship that these poor folks had.

I complained to the local council about it but nothing ever changed - all i can say is that i am grateful my grandfather is cared for by my family in his own home and when and if my parents get to the same point my brother and i will ensure that they get cared for properly by ourselves too. Its the least they deserve after nurturing us for our lives.

I love reading your blog odette it challenges my thoughts often and sometimes challenges my views on things. Your fab - keep it up!!!

Speak soon hon Loadsa lv Rattles Xxxx

amna said...

it really breaks my heart everytime they let the older ones cut off first. In 1990's recession my very best friend Alison who was in her early 60's was laid off first, no other reason, just the age and downsizing was a good excuse because our company wanted to get rid of what they thought as less productive employees coz they can no longer function actively like us, younger. But hey, something happened great to my best friend Alison, she got job as extra in the movies, she was busy and she enjoyed the limelight. I cried of disappointment when she was laid off and I cried again of joy when I saw her in the movie. Things happened for the best sometimes. Julie is talented, somehow she'll find something that does not require age bracket.
That's very nice of you to gather friends in support of Julie emotionally.

love much!

Odette said...

i really thought retiring in other country, esp. in the US would be a culmination of all the hardships a worker went through - that they will be enjoying in luxury and would be secure financially in their twilight years.
but i also wonder why a 60 year old would still want to be in an employment line when they should be happily resting and having a hobby.
i see myself retiring in sagay at nag tatanim na lang at siguro nag mamadyong, hahaha!
iam still waiting for your next post, no? fingers tapping**
love you,

Sid Brechin said...

Odette: you forgot to mention which blog is Judith's

Odette said...

Sid, i highlighted julie's name in the first paragragh. all you have to do is click on it. the web address is imbedded in there.

amna said...

Dette, Alison was a widow with hardly enough savings to go on while waiting for her retirement age which is 65, she wasn't there yet. I Loved her so, she was a very poised tall and slender woman with stunning beauty even at the age of 60. We used to have date at Indian town and she wears sari elegantly. I was not there when she was finally laid to rest. May she rest in peace.
I have one blog,at least ,pouring out my anger, ha ha ha ha!


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