An article written by Lydia Mirembe, Manager Corporate and Public Affairs, URBRA.
A few years ago, I watched a TV news item about an old woman who was receiving relief items from a group of journalists. It was a wet, cold day in the middle of a rainy season. Her mud-and-wattle house was drenched in floodwater. She lived all by herself although she had children and grandchildren. They had all gone to live their own lives. For her, the nest was empty, cold and less than habitable. Then I thought to myself, “where did her glory days go?”
Such scenes often play out in our midst. Many elderly people are struggling with ill health, houses in disrepair, lack of basic necessities, and most importantly, lack of company. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Old-age can be more meaningful and fulfilling – if only we prepare for it.
It all starts with the realization that one won’t be young and energetic forever. When we start the journey of life on earth, we are fortunate that our parents take care of our needs. As we grow into youth and adulthood, we engage in many activities and ventures from which we earn a living – we spend some, save some, invest some.
Then we eventually retire as we become older and unable to exert ourselves like we did in our youthful years. At this stage we are largely on our own: no parents, no jobs, fewer peers! What happens at this stage largely depends on how well one planned for retirement. Did you accumulate enough savings?