The Fortune of Being a Senior Citizen  (2023)

Dr. C.L. Prabhakar

sataminnu sarado anti devahyatra nascakra jarasam tanunam

putraso yatra pitaro bhavanti mano madhyareerishatayurgantoh

“Oh you Gods! A lovely hundred years (Śarad seasons) stand before us with in the given span of lifetime. Kindly, do not trouble our mortal physical frame, until we reach to a certain age. The next generation can take charge and get ready to bear the responsibilities of becoming fathers in turn.”

Rigveda 1.89.9

Ramayana expressed a truth that death is natural to all beings while life and living is change. But if a being lives long breathing (svāsan) healthily then we consider him to be fortunate. In other words, if prāṇa-śakti is live, healthy, it is a blessing and the person would be able to witness many things for long time upon this Earth. Therefore, to grow into the stage of senior citizen for any being born on Earth is Fortunate. Here when Valmiki employed the word ‘Svāsa’ he seems to imply health, active life in the granted span of time. Svāsa is the prāṇa and when it is intact activity could be done with such vigour and enthusiasm. Further we have a prayer to Rudra ‘Prathamo Daivyo Bhishak’ (SYV 16 Ch). He needs to bless us long life followed by assurances of health and detachments of unwanted strings of responsibilities. This would help for all to subsist that period of life to go for gains like: friends, health, wealth, and above all sustained memory. In Camaka prasanga of Yajurveda, we have many articles of life programs enlisted. All of them are lending support for hope and optimistic aspirations for necessary comfort. Thereby our faculties and activity shall not be passive. In principle, we have asked for 35 optimistic desires and conditions to go safe with us until the end of being a senior citizen. There are hundreds of positive desires to stay and be fruitful to us in life. For example, one can see developments in various dimensions of life like, family, profession, contacts, religious and spiritual events and distinctions. Such long life leads to growth into being a ‘Śatāyuṣī’ (of hundred years).Right from the age eighty and more years of age, the person is styled as Śatāyuṣī and there are many āśirvāda mantras Veda and other scriptures to confirm health and peace in the life thereafter for the persons in. Prayer is unfailing measure of attainments being proved a Boon and Bonus.

As we are born and brought up as the child of the creator Prajāpati, Atharvaveda, lends a scope by confirming a blessings thus: to reach the old age. Kalidasa too has given the scheme of life:

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Saisave abhysata vidyanam Yauvane vishayeshinam!

vardhake muni vruttinam yogenante tanu tyajam!!

Raghuvamsa 1.8

Which means from boyhood to 25 years, earn knowledge as much as possible. Learn arts and sciences as much as possible further. Growing young (25 to 50 years of age) one would enjoy the pleasures, acquisitions and stabilization for richness and sharing, etc. It is stage to gather wealth and properties and discharge responsibilities in many fronts. While at advanced age from fifty years and more; one has to live like a saint and finally with the practice of discipline of Yoga one to prepare to leave the body at the conclusion of living. Moreover, in old age practice the activities gravitating towards those activities of sages and saints and at end yoking the mind with the Absolute. Later evict the soul from body to attain Emancipation.

The motto of life need be, as Kalidasa continues to advise:whatever riches or wealth amassed, gift away at senior age. For a balanced safety, ‘talk judiciously’, eat fewer amounts of food for health. Thus, prepare for peaceful existence and exit.

Tyaagaya smbhrutarthanm Satyaya mita bhashinam!

yasase vijigeeshunam prajayai gruhamedhinam!!

Raghuvamasa 1.7

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Taittiriya Upanishad too exhorts the same in its section on Vedic Convocation (vedamanucyacaryo antevasinamanusasti…). In this manner, on the one hand, we can also follow the instructions provided by our great thinkers and on the other gain indications and measures done profusely from our scriptures for an aspirant course of life at old age.

Moreover, the set of four aims marked for people namely Dharma, Artha , Kāma and Mokṣa constitute as their pastimes. An urge is cultivated to make them fulfilled greatly. Also four āśramas (stages of life) are suggested to individuals keeping reverence to worldly life, past times and workable activities, which are – Bhrahmacarya, Gruhastha, Vānaprastha and sanyāsa. Vānaprastha considers as the high time to go up to Śatāyuṣī. It is a stage to elevate mind and adopt the spiritual practices like Yoga, worship, dhyāna, jāpa, prāṇāyāma and more for peace and complacency. When a person turn older, they have to attend personal upliftment which they could not attend during their age of storm. At advanced age it is necessary to turn to Vedanta and mingle with the divine interest. Yajurveda Chapter 18 opens with the mantra that one has to look for the divya vajas that uplifts the life. Divya vajas are the things that would be of utility, personal, impersonal and universal. This is the most crucial time as the parents are in at the edge of old age which is full of experiences of life and eager to enlighten their next generation.

Every day is precious, a gain and a bonus after certain senior age for everybody. Personal ego need at least be reduced and in its place the divine importance is to be installed. So, to live the age of any senior for long with health and peace one needs ‘śānti karmas’ religiously. They begin from Ṣaṣṭhi purti (60 years) of age and go up to Śatāyuṣī. Every decade, after sixty years all need śānti ceremonies. This involves invoking the blessings of elders, gods and the departed ancestors in the lineage on installment basis. Religious observances (tapas of convenient order) add to the effort of seniority.

The flow of time (Kāla) is like river which never turns back. The clock for a senior person is very important and so one has to be mindful. There is a suggestion that one has to do dharma

Ajara amaravat prajnah vidyam artham ca sadhayet|

gruhita iva keseshu mrutyuna dharma macaretḥ||

Hitopadesa

The verse suggests in the course of life, vidyā and Artha need be earned as though mṛtyu is grasping hairs.

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Āchārya Śankara says in one of his stotras advises- ‘please reduce the ego and pride everyday little by little to reach zero level (aharahar va garvam parityajyatam). When ego is removed scope for benefits would be at gain. Here, Śankara hints that it is in our hands to send away ego and negativity from us. Śṛi Kṛśṇa gave the importance to a fact that one should uplift by himself as self is all in all and never self be demeaned.

uddharet atmana atmanam naatmanam avasadayet

atmaivahyatmano bandhuh atmaiva ripuratmanah !!

Bhagavadgītā 6.8

One has to help oneself to uplift. Never one should demean his own self. Self is the friend to self, but self is enemy to one’s own self. Kṛśṇa means here self-reliance is the formula of happiness and more so when people reach senior age. Relations usually neglect the requests.

Self is noble and personal too. Seniors are at the verge of evening walk of life, meaning exit remains closer. Realizing that, they should monitor their time with care and commitment. They must take assistance only when they should. Kṛśṇa said in the Bhagavadgītā that one should uplift oneself. Such instruction is a mark of wisdom to the people, more so at senior stage since children and relations grow busy in their own way.

When seniors practice Vedāntic way of life, realizing its worth in reality, then they would be near peace and in peace too. This piece will help happy ending, the conclusion of life on earth. For any senior individual, death without any hazels and life with no dependence is desirous.

These two are possible when we turn spiritual and revering the divine. This fortune is obtainable by Yoga, which includes dhyāna and accessories to them. Also, one should adopt the inclination of mind to vote for the sense of vairāgya. The awareness of the body, house and township, etc. need not be bothered at invariably. Truly speaking our body is a Traveller’sBungalow taken for lease for a period. But while enjoying ‘be neutral and uncommitted’ like the lotus leaf in a pond (Padmapatra iva ambhasa). For this way of adopted living the mind is to be disciplined and that is possible through the instructions by a guru and practice of them regularly.

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The constant prayer is:’ whatever advancement in age and wealth possessed should be prosperous and helpful owing to the effort which is the form of Yajña. One always need to remember the Upaniśadic truth:

‘mrutyorma amrutam gamaya’

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

move from material problems to ultimate pathway of spirituality and the immortality

When God’s grace subsists life of a senior is a FORTUNE and a true BONUS. It is so because Earth, the bhuloka, is the most beautiful loka of lokas. We have attestations given to us in the works of great sages, authors like Kalidasa, Bana and several others in the world Literature. Added to that there would be scope to wash off follies and sins in order to get higher planes of happiness and Nirvāṇa.

In a nutshell, to live a full period of Senior citizen as granted by the providence is a boon. It should be appropriately employed for personal and universal welfare by controlling emotions. Mind can be managed pleasant by studying relevant scriptures. He would have the scope to experience Bhoga, Bhāgya, Saubhāgya and Mokṣa.

Dr. C.L Prabhakar, Professor, Sanskrit & President, WAVES, Bangalore Chapter

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FAQs

What are the benefits of being a senior citizen? ›

Featured Benefits
  • Social Security Medicare Program.
  • Social Security Medicare Savings Program.
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
  • Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)
  • Social Security Retirement Insurance Benefits.
10 Nov 2021

Why are senior citizens the wealth of knowledge and experience? ›

Their experiences are the roadmap and guideline for the present generation to progress. New generation should learn a lot of useful life skills from the knowledge and experiences of our senior citizens. That's why senior citizens are the wealth of knowledge and experience.

At what age is a human considered a senior citizen? ›

In the United States it is generally considered that a senior citizen is anyone of retirement age, or a person that has reached age 62 or older.

Is 55 years old a senior citizen? ›

As such, being a senior citizen may be based on your age, but it is not a specific age. In general, however, once you turn 55 you start to enter the senior age demographic. By the time you are 65 you reach the most common age for retirement from your job.

What is the most important thing for seniors? ›

Here's what senior citizens want most when they get older.
  • Community. ...
  • Food. ...
  • Routine. ...
  • Respect. ...
  • Physical Activity. ...
  • Comfort. ...
  • Financial Security. Some seniors require assistance in managing their money. ...
  • Independence. Some senior citizens struggle to take care of themselves and complete everyday tasks.

What are the most common characteristic of a senior citizen? ›

Different Characteristics of Elderly People and How to Deal With...
  1. Sensory Impairment. Frequently, older adults suffer from problems with vision, hearing, and taste. ...
  2. Dementia. ...
  3. Stroke. ...
  4. Alzheimer's Disease. ...
  5. Physical Impairments. ...
  6. Communication Difficulties. ...
  7. Social Problems. ...
  8. Pain.
27 May 2021

What is the most important problem that senior citizens face today? ›

Old age can be difficult for many, from losing independence to reduced physical capability. However, one of the most significant problems many senior citizens face is losing their financial independence.

Why is value important for elderly? ›

They are your parents or loved ones

It enables them to live a higher quality of life until the end. Your unconditional love is the best reason in the world for looking for senior care for your loved one. There will come a time when the elderly will be unable to function without care.

How far should a 65 year old walk every day? ›

Generally, older adults in good physical shape walk somewhere between 2,000 and 9,000 steps daily. This translates into walking distances of 1 and 4-1/2 miles respectively. Increasing the walking distance by roughly a mile will produce health benefits.

Is 70 the new 50? ›

Seventy-three percent of women say age 70 is the new 50, according to a new survey from TD Ameritrade. Women also see their later years as a time when they can pursue more meaningful work. One thing that many women would sacrifice their money for: the opportunity to stay healthy until the end of their lives.

What benefits do you get at age 55? ›

The Financial Perks of Growing Older
  • Senior discounts.
  • Travel deals.
  • Tax deductions for seniors.
  • Bigger retirement account limits.
  • No more early withdrawal penalty.
  • Social Security payments.
  • Affordable health insurance.
  • Senior services.

What to do after turning 55 years old? ›

Listen to your doctor, eat healthier, but most importantly, get moving and stay moving. You don't have to kill yourself with side bends or sit-ups. Go dancing, take a swim class, golf, do yoga (active adult communities have exercise classes), or go on a gentle hike at the park.

What age is considered elderly in 2022? ›

According to the United States Social Security Administration, anyone age 65 or older is elderly.

What discounts does Walmart offer to seniors? ›

Does Walmart Offer a Senior Discount? Unfortunately, Walmart does not offer a discount to senior citizens. One of Walmart's biggest competitors, Target, also does not provide a discount to older adults.

What is the most rewarding thing about getting older? ›

Clearer Priorities. The more you experience in life, the more you know what you like and what you don't like, what you need and what you don't need. And, as you get older, you realize that life really is short, so you're less likely to waste your time with people, activities, or pursuits that aren't worthwhile.

What do seniors fear most? ›

Loss of Independence

Losing physical functions and having to rely on others for daily care is the biggest fear among seniors. According to a 2010 study from the Disabled Living Foundation, more seniors fear losing independence than dying.

What problems do senior citizens face? ›

Disease – Alzheimer's, dementia, cataracts, macular degeneration, and osteoporosis – these health issues and more threaten a person's day-to-day functioning capabilities. We all know that health issues progress with age.

What are the five most crucial rights of the elderly? ›

Senior Rights
  • Right to be Free to Exercise Civil Rights Under the Law. ...
  • Right to Dignity and Respect. ...
  • Right to Designate a Guardian or Representative. ...
  • Right to be Free from Physical and Mental Abuse. ...
  • Right to Communicate and Complain Regarding Treatment, Care or Services. ...
  • Right to Privacy. ...
  • Right to Participation in Activities.

What are the 4 main issues with an aging population? ›

With populations in places such as North America, Western Europe, and Japan aging more rapidly than ever before, policymakers are confronted with several interrelated issues, including a decline in the working-age population, increased health care costs, unsustainable pension commitments, and changing demand drivers ...

What do seniors do all day? ›

According to the American Time Use Survey, most retirees spend 16 hours a day on sports activities, leisure time and personal care (including sleep). Many retirees also spent a few hours a week on work-related activities.

What gives elderly purpose? ›

Having an important daily practice can produce a sense of purpose. Start your day with meditation, yoga, walking, or some other physical exercise. Keep a journal and record the activities or feelings that promote a sense of wellbeing.

Why are elderly people important in society? ›

They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.” The fact that people live longer than ever before, and that we have an ageing population, should be something to celebrate. After all, the alternative to living longer is not great.

What words describe senior citizens? ›

Synonyms of senior citizen
  • elder.
  • adult.
  • golden-ager.
  • ancient.
  • geriatric.
  • senior.
  • oldster.
  • patriarch.

What is sacred for senior citizens? ›

The Government of India has launched an Online Portal named Senior Citizens for ReEmployment in Dignity (SACRED) on 01st October 2021 exclusively for Senior Citizens who are experienced and are able to take suitable occupation for a dignified living.

What is senior power? ›

substantial political power to the elderly in the United States. This attribution. of "senior power" is usually made in the context of the politics of Social. Security and Medicare.

How much sleep do seniors need? ›

Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as all adults—7 to 9 hours each night. But, older people tend to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier than they did when they were younger. There are many reasons why older people may not get enough sleep at night.

Can a senior walk too much? ›

While it's certainly possible to overdo it, especially recovering from an injury or illness, most seniors should endeavor to hit those minimum amounts of exercise.

Is it better to walk faster or longer? ›

In a new study, which looks at activity tracker data from 78,500 people, walking at a brisk pace for about 30 minutes a day led to a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia and death, compared with walking a similar number of steps but at a slower pace.

Does your body slow down at 70? ›

People Tend to Lose Muscle With Age

Sarcopenia also slows down your metabolism, as having more muscle increases your resting metabolism ( 11 ). A study of 959 people found that people aged 70 had 20 pounds (9 kg) less muscle mass and 11% slower resting metabolism (RMR) than people aged 40 (12).

How does your body change at 70? ›

Your bones, joints and muscles

With age, bones tend to shrink in size and density, weakening them and making them more susceptible to fracture. You might even become a bit shorter. Muscles generally lose strength, endurance and flexibility — factors that can affect your coordination, stability and balance.

What are the odds of living to 70? ›

Death odds for men or see odds for women
AgeWithin 1 year
691.72%
701.88%
712.13%
722.35%
97 more rows

Can I retire at 55 and collect Social Security? ›

You can start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, you are entitled to full benefits when you reach your full retirement age. If you delay taking your benefits from your full retirement age up to age 70, your benefit amount will increase.

Does McDonald's have a senior discount? ›

As of 2022, McDonald's does not offer a company-wide senior discount. Some McDonald's locations offer senior discounts on small-sized drinks to those ages 55 and up; however, this discount varies by location. By downloading the McDonald's app, customers of any age can get additional discounts or promotions.

How much money should you have in your 401k by age 55? ›

According to these parameters, you may need 10 to 12 times your current annual salary saved by the time you retire. Experts say to have at least seven times your salary saved at age 55. That means if you make $55,000 a year, you should have at least $385,000 saved for retirement.

What is the 55 rule? ›

The rule of 55 is an IRS provision that allows workers who leave their job for any reason to start taking penalty-free distributions from their current employer's retirement plan once they've reached age 55.

What should you not do in retirement? ›

Plan for healthcare costs in retirement, pay off debt and delay Social Security until age 70 to help maximize your benefits.
  • Quitting Your Job. ...
  • Not Saving Now. ...
  • Not Having a Financial Plan. ...
  • Not Maxing out a Company Match. ...
  • Investing Unwisely. ...
  • Not Rebalancing Your Portfolio. ...
  • Poor Tax Planning. ...
  • Cashing out Savings.

Is 55 considered middle age? ›

Middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. The exact range is disputed, but the general consensus has placed middle age as the ages of 40 to 60.

What age is over age? ›

Historically, the United Nations has defined an "older" person as anyone 60 years or older, regardless of that person's individual history or where in the world they live. "Everyone became old at 60," Petrow writes.

Why do seniors want to stay in their homes? ›

Most seniors want to stay in their homes as they age. Moving comes with both physical and emotional stress, and many seniors are afraid of leaving behind beloved neighbors and a family home full of memories. Add the fear of the unknown to those concerns and a move to senior living can be downright overwhelming.

At what age does old age begin? ›

Who is Defined as Elderly? Typically, the elderly has been defined as the chronological age of 65 or older. People from 65 to 74 years old are usually considered early elderly, while those over 75 years old are referred to as late elderly.

Does Home Depot give a senior discount? ›

Home Depot does not give a senior discount as of 2022. You can, however, enjoy a special Home Depot discount if you are a US military veteran. In addition, you can get other Home Depot discounts by enrolling as a Pro or Pro Xtra member. Home Depot offers US military veterans a 10% discount every day.

How much is Amazon Prime for seniors? ›

Unfortunately, Amazon Prime is not free for seniors. It will cost $14.99 per month before the discount and $6.99 per month after the Senior Citizen Discount is applied.

Does Kohls give a senior discount? ›

We offer a 15% discount every Wednesday in our stores to customers aged 60 or better. Additional Information: Limit one per customer.

What free things can you get at 60? ›

Top 10 Discounts for Over-60s
  • Ride the Rail. It's really important for older people to keep a strong social network. ...
  • Iceland Over-60s Discount. ...
  • More Points at Boots. ...
  • Movie Savings. ...
  • Free TV. ...
  • Cheaper Haircuts. ...
  • Free Bus Pass. ...
  • Free Prescriptions.
17 Oct 2022

What are the benefits of being over 60? ›

Here's a comprehensive guide to the best benefits for over 60s.
  • State pension benefits. ...
  • Free eye tests and dental care. ...
  • Free TV license. ...
  • Discounts on public transport. ...
  • Help with heating your home. ...
  • Benefits for carers and disabled individuals. ...
  • Military pension benefits.
17 Nov 2022

What benefits can 60 year olds claim? ›

Here are some brief details - please click one of the links for more information.
  • Pension credits. ...
  • Free prescriptions and Sight tests. ...
  • Subsidised travel. ...
  • Annual flu jab. ...
  • The job seekers allowance. ...
  • Special support grant. ...
  • Student support grants. ...
  • State Pension.

What should I do with my life after 60? ›

Whether you want to explore new subjects or expand knowledge in old interests, make it a goal to learn something new everyday.
  • Attend college courses.
  • Tour an arboretum.
  • Go to a Town Hall meeting.
  • Mentor or teach classes.
  • Join a book club.
  • Visit an astronomical observatory.
14 May 2018

What age can I retire if I was born in 1961? ›

Full Retirement Age for Survivors Born In 1961: 66 and 10 Months (En español)

Why do Filipinos respect the elderly? ›

The main reason for this tradition is because Filipino culture gives a high value to the family. Young ones are trained to treat the elderly with respect because of the idea that they have acquired so much wisdom and experience through their years of existence so they deserve to be recognized.

What is the purpose of Senior Citizen Act? ›

AN ACT TO MAXIMIZE THE CONTRIBUTION OF SENIOR CITIZENS TO NATION BUILDING, GRANT BENEFITS AND SPECIAL PRIVILEGES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

What does it mean to be a senior citizen in the Philippines? ›

Older persons in the Philippines are referred to as Senior Citizens, any resident citizen of the Philippines at least sixty (60) years old as defined by Republic Act No. 9994, An Act granting additional benefits and privileges to senior citizens, further amending Republic Act No.

Why is 60 considered old? ›

However, in most industrialized countries, the onset of old age is considered to be around 60 to 65. In the U.S, this is the age when society commonly considers you elderly because this is when most Americans stop working and become eligible for age-based assistance programs.

Do you get more tired at 60? ›

As you get older, you may find yourself not having as much energy as you used to. You might find that activities that you used to turn to for an energy boost are no longer possible or do not provide the same results as when you were younger.

Is 60 considered to be old? ›

Historically, the United Nations has defined an "older" person as anyone 60 years or older, regardless of that person's individual history or where in the world they live.

What benefits am I entitled to at age 62? ›

You can start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, you are entitled to full benefits when you reach your full retirement age. If you delay taking your benefits from your full retirement age up to age 70, your benefit amount will increase.

Who qualifies for winter fuel? ›

If you were born before 26 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a 'Winter Fuel Payment'. The amount you'll get includes a 'Pensioner Cost of Living Payment'.

Is it better to retire or go on disability? ›

In most cases, it is better to receive disability benefits until you reach full retirement age. If you collect early retirement, your benefits are permanently reduced. If you receive SSDI payments until you reach full retirement age, there is no permanent reduction in your retirement benefits.

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