Having experienced prolonged loneliness and social isolation, I feel like I’ve experienced one of the worst aspects of aging. While I am not ‘old’ and therefore have no concept of the physical problems that come with aging, I can relate to the sense of loneliness and being marginalized, which is something that many elderly people experience.
It makes me wonder why anyone would want to get old at all, unless they have family and friends to live for. The thought of being alone in an apartment or a nursing home wasting away and lonely is far less appealing to me than death itself. I cannot even imagine any possible outcome of my life which would make me actually want to get old.
My mum is in her 60’s, but she’s still physically healthy. She has her husband and 2 other children, both of whom are ‘normal’ and successful adults. She has friends,a degree of financial stability and is able to pursue her hobbies, such as gardening. But my situation is different. I have no children, no partner (and little chance of finding one). Years of depression have zapped away any hobbies and interests I once had. I have no friends outside of the internet. It’s also unlikely I’ll have anything saved for retirement.
So why would I want to get old? It would be more of the same loneliness and social isolation, physical deterioration and possible senility. No thanks!