When we were kids, most of us couldn’t wait to get older.
Whether it was being fed up with school, an eagerness to flash your (real) ID at a bouncer while pretending to be outraged, the ability to drive or, let’s face it, for most of us the appeal of the legal drinking age, many of us spent some portion of our childhood wishing we were old enough.
Somewhere along the line, however, that changed. Maybe it was the onset of wrinkles or hairlines receding faster than Chad Le Clos in a kiddy pool. Maybe it was the first night out with friends where you couldn’t wake up, get into track pants and carry on like everything was normal. Maybe it was a belly straight out of a Pillsbury ad or that “crrr” in your back as you bent down to tie your shoe. Or maybe it was the day you realised you have a favourite Checkers, a Tupperware you’re emotionally attached to and the latest ‘hit’ single was just a man screaming in tongues about money, cars and um, twerking?
Sure, there are a wealth of superficial benefits. You get significantly better parking and nobody asks when you’re getting married, for starters, while you’re never expected to stack up chairs after a wedding or carry the groceries out the car. You get the best seat in the house wherever you go, discounts on quite a lot, and even taxi drivers hoot less when you cut into their lane.
For many of us, our bodies may be a bit slower and the grey in our hair (what’s left of it at least) a little more pronounced, but we feel like we’re at our mental peak. We’re wiser, wittier and have seen and done it all, so what’s the deal with getting older, you ask?
Well, maybe it’s not getting older that’s the problem, but rather the world not understanding just how cool it is to be a pensioner.
For starters, research suggests that people tend to get happier as they age. It’s no surprise, really, because from age 16 upwards most of our lives are dictated by image, peer pressure, financial uncertainty, unstable relationships and, of course, Keeping up with the Kardashians – which is enough to make any generation fear for the future.
As you get older, you become more comfortable both internally and with your surroundings. Your relationships are generally deeper rooted and more meaningful, you’ve likely settled into an emotional and financial comfort zone and better understand who you are as a person. Then there’s retirement (no early mornings, angry bosses or deadlines on the daily), emotional maturity (well, this may start a tiny bit later if you’re a guy), reduced taxes (just for once, Uncle Sam takes a break) and, of course, the luxury of quality time with your kids and (hopefully) grandkids to keep you going.
Our elderly are the pinnacles of our society and can pass on invaluable life skills, lessons and advice. And no, they’re not cool despite being old, but rather because of it.
It’s not all mush and tender loving care, however. We know plenty a feisty one who hasn’t simmered down with age. In fact, they’d tell you in no uncertain terms where they’d like to put their walking stick if you so much as inferred they’re worthy of sympathy. And don’t get us started on trying to explain to them that they’re getting older. You’ll likely hear a few outdated, but no less impactful, choice words guaranteed to make even the most hardened sailor blush. The weird thing, however, is they get away with it because they’re charming – just don’t tell them that.
You may have noticed, but we’re passionate about our senior citizens.
Studies have actually indicated a longer life expectancy than ever thanks to better living conditions, improved health care and easier access to medication. While this thankfully means more senior citizens to know, love and appreciate, the reality is that they’re not just there to appreciate from a distance. Sadly, many of us only understand the magnitude of growing older when the first signs start to creep into our own lives, but with the natural ageing process comes certain limitations and the risk of serious injury.
However, just as we’d never treat all kids the same, we shouldn’t assume that everyone past a certain age requires full time attention and personal care. Many of our beloved senior citizens are capable enough to live fully functional and independent lives or are not quite at the stage where their complete independence needs to be taken away from them. With this in mind, we’ve introduced Vox I.C.E, the first of it’s kind monitoring system created for keeping a watchful eye from a distance. You can read all you need to about the product here, but in a nutshell, it allows you to track and respond to any deviations within a single person’s residence. The sensors record their normal behavioural patterns and notify you should any changes in routine occur, allowing you to almost immediately know when something is wrong.
We really, really love our elderly, which is why we want them to enjoy the fruits of their labour well into their old age. Who, if not them, is going to make inappropriate jokes in front of your parents or slip you a R100 when nobody is looking? With Vox I.C.E, we don’t need to take away all their freedom prematurely, but rather allow them to live normal and free lives while resting easy knowing all is well.
And that’s all anyone can ask for, is it not?