Living Beyond Youth: Embracing the Open Canvas of Your Older Years

To a large extent, the younger generation lives in a bubble, and the joys and pains in life are similar. Can I grab the new co-branded models? Can I not go to work in winter? Do I have enough savings? Where to go on vacation? Where can I go to take root in the future? …

Yang Zhao, a reader of humanities classics, once gave young people a little advice: Try to communicate more with people of different ages and backgrounds. This helps us jump out of the current picture of life and see our lives from a new perspective.

Mu Xin once said, “What is life? Ordinary and changeable.” If there are four seasons in life, we are just trying to bring some “season-specific” novelty to ordinary days in different seasons.

If we look at people older than us, we will find that they have a lot of interesting experiences and wisdom scattered in every day. It turns out that life in old age is more spacious than imagined.

01. Relaxing old age life

The breadth of life in old age is sometimes reflected in some unique lifestyles. Uniqueness is often the condensation of life experience and wisdom.

The amateur variety show “The Night Is Still Young” once visited an elderly man, Hiroto Kiritani, who practices an interesting lifestyle: living by coupons and gifts.

When the program team first interviewed Kiritani, he was 63 years old, and his house was filled with all kinds of gifts, including toothbrushes, paper towels, shoes, rice and other daily necessities. Kiritani’s daily life, from brushing teeth and dining to watching movies and working out, is mostly about using coupons to redeem services or using items sent by different companies.

The way to get coupons and freebies is to become a shareholder in the company. When he was first interviewed in 2013, Grandpa Kiritani owned stocks in about 600 companies, and those discounts were all benefits for shareholders. Kiritani’s initial capital came from stock market investments when he was young. He was very successful for a time, but later suffered a financial crisis and lost at least one-third of his assets.

Fortunately, the loss was within control, but it also prompted Grandpa Kiritani to think about a more stable lifestyle. So the idea of living off coupons and freebies was born. The program showed Grandpa Kiritani’s rich day. He traveled around the city, had a sashimi lunch, a pasta dinner, went to the gym, and watched a movie, all with an expenditure of 0 yuan.

In the 2022 New Year special, the program team visited Kiritani again. Although he is 72 years old, he still lives a life of making full use of coupons. The way he rides his bicycle through the streets, rushing to use the next coupon, has become one of the famous scenes of the show. Kiritani seems to have left all the troubles in the world behind him. As long as he can make good use of every coupon, his life will be smooth. All are expected.

Living in a society with a dazzling array of commodities, we are easily tempted by the constant flow of new products and often have to restrain our desire to consume. However, Grandpa Kiritani has lived a stable consumption life through coupons. He doesn’t pursue brands or new styles, he just wants to make full use of all the coupons. This is not a new way of experiencing life.

Douban’s high-scoring documentary “Fruits of Life” captures another possibility of elderly life.

Shuichi and Eiko are an elderly couple who built a wooden house in Kozoji New Town, Japan, where they spend their daily life cooking, farming, and tailoring. Shuichi and Eiko’s house is full of cute details, such as a small wooden sign that says “Thank you for express delivery” hanging on the door of their house. They also put up a sign next to the bamboo shoots they planted that read “Hello, bamboo shoots!”.

Grandpa Xiu Yi was once a famous architect and designed many modern buildings, but his urban design plan that wanted to integrate nature has been unable to be implemented. Until Shuichi grew old and returned to his family, he and Eiko built their wooden house bit by bit into a way of symbiosis with nature, living a realistic version of a “little forest.”

Their elderly life is not limited to the house itself, but also includes vegetable gardens, fruit gardens, flower sheds and other areas. Although she is eighty or ninety years old, Yingzi skillfully shuttles through her “little forest” and methodically takes care of the more than 100 kinds of fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and lemons she has planted.

The simple working life of Eiko and Shuichi erased many people’s anxiety about aging. Although aging is an inevitable path for everyone, it does not mean that there is only the fear of losing youth along the way. What “The Fruit of Life” shows is not only living every specific day well, but also the vitality of the autumn of life.

We usually think that the most exciting passages in life happen in energetic young adults, but in fact, after entering the autumn of life, another kind of free life opens up for us.

As we gradually let go of social and family baggage, the space for exploration in life will become wider. Whether it’s Hiroto Kiritani who loves to use coupons, or the couple Shuichi and Eiko who have built their own “little forest”, they have found new possibilities that suit them in the second half of their lives.

Relaxation is not only a kind of wisdom, but also seeing your own life needs clearly and being able to pursue it without burden.

02. How to live well in the autumn of life?

As age increases, it does not mean that people’s lives will further narrow. On the contrary, people are making different attempts to choose their favorite way of caring for the elderly.

In recent years, staying in a place with a family atmosphere for retirement has become a new trend. People prefer to keep their lives as familiar as possible, and this place can be their original home or a professional retirement community. The latter is trying to create a “home” feeling for us while providing a variety of activity spaces and Aging-friendly facilities.

For example, a new type of senior living community has emerged in the UK – New Ground. As the UK’s first senior women’s co-living community, it specifically provides services for single women over the age of 50. Currently, there are 25 apartments here, inhabited by 26 women. They have their own rooms, which can be decorated according to their preferences, and they also enjoy common areas, kitchens, gardens, laundry rooms… Daily life is convenient and comfortable.

The new garden not only meets the needs of these women for aging at home, but also allows them to feel the warmth of the community. In their second “home”, they maintain private space, can socialize, and participate in community activities from time to time. For example, they will practice yoga together and meet for meals every once in a while, and these activities are not mandatory.

Everyone comes here for different reasons, and here they achieve the ideal state of retirement – maintaining just the right distance while supporting each other and enriching life in their later years.

In an interview with Ichijo, Rachel, the grandmother who lives here, said, “We want to be able to control and create our own lives and be independent as long as possible. Even if our family members are very good to us, we don’t want to be too dependent on them and leave one or two children behind. Bear the burden of taking care of the elderly.” With the mutual support of these women, life in old age is no longer monotonous and boring, and has become diverse and free.

Regarding how to spend the second half of their lives, some people have chosen a new “home” for themselves, while others have set their sights on the distance. They choose to travel for retirement, hoping to experience the customs and customs of different places and have different perceptions. The culture grows old in the process of traveling around the world.

One of the most typical examples may be Su Min, the “self-driving travel aunt” who attracted attention on social networks a few years ago. After retiring, she put down the burden of her family and stopped living for her husband and daughter. She drove alone on the road and decided to start a new life by traveling.

In the past three years of self-driving travel, Su Min has traveled to Xinjiang, Tibet, Yunnan, Shanghai and other places, mastered shooting and editing techniques, and became a creator with many fans. At first, his car was replaced by a RV. During her travels, she also met many aunties who, like herself, wanted to live and travel to spend their retirement years, and formed a “RV Fleet” with them. Life is completely different now.

In the second half of their lives, Su Min and many women like her began to appreciate different scenery in various places and independently arrange trips again and again. After a new direction in life emerged, the world slowly opened up in front of them.

Whenever we see people like Su Min and the grandmothers living in the new garden, we always feel that the second half of life is not a terrible thing. As people grow older, they will be more honest with their hearts and know what kind of life they want to live and how to spend the rest of their lives. Whether it is community elderly care or tourism elderly care, people are trying to expand their original lives and find a place for themselves to live in where they can relax physically and mentally——

We need to create a good living space for ourselves, enjoy social interaction, experience culture, and be true to ourselves. Retirement is also a kind of freedom.

03.Open up a broad second half of life

When talking about how people will care for their elderly in the future, Higuchi Keiko, director of Japan’s Women’s Association for Improving Aging Society, once said, “We must shift from relying on others to make decisions to making decisions ourselves.”

We are entering a longevity society. We must face aging again and learn to arrange the second half of our lives for ourselves. The elderly are still independent individuals. Choosing how to spend their old age – where to retire, what kind of space to live in, and how to deal with family and friends – are also choosing how to arrange their lives.

In order to meet the needs of seniors of different ages and provide more diverse options, the famous space designer Ji Yutang began to think that designing a space is not just about working in a given area, but also about imagining a life that is larger than this space. In other words, what is designed for the elderly in the autumn of life is not only a comfortable living space, but also a home that can fully meet their needs and enrich their lives.

So, what kind of space can take care of their living needs? What kind of space can flexibly adapt to the home rhythms and outing rhythms of different elderly people?

With such considerations in mind, Ping An Zhen Yi Nian joined hands with Ji Yutang to build a brand new wellness community. One of Ji Yutang’s areas of expertise lies in the creation of residential and living spaces. In his view, design is a way of organizing life. An ideal home should be beautiful, practical and comfortable.

With Ji Yutang’s participation, the design of Ping An Zhen Yi Nian’s wellness community is not only about the beauty of the space, but also about a quality retirement life. Transitioning from the design field to the life field requires designers to put aside the purpose of self-expression and pay more attention to the subtle life needs of users, such as planning wheelchair use spaces, furniture taking into account the physical conditions of the elderly, etc., and effectively improving the quality of life through design. The quality of life of every elderly person.

However, when a “home” is built, what kind of space should be chosen to host it? Ping An Zhen Yi Nian adheres to the concept of urban core elderly care and aims to bring the most convenient experience to the elderly in the places they are most familiar with. This also coincides with Ji Yutang’s design philosophy. Design is “a transitional passage in life.” He agrees with the words of Anthony, the author of “The Little Prince”, that designers must “ultimately turn their talents into feedback to the world and society. Only then can they That’s the point of our final design.”

Locating the community in the center of the city respects the past lifestyle of the elderly without changing their original habits, allowing them to still live in “home”. In 2023, Ping An Zhenyi Nian launched two new benefits, namely Sojourn and CCaH (Continuing Care at Home).

CCaH is an innovative health care benefit launched by Ping An Zhenyinian to meet the needs of the elderly in terms of living at home and enjoying high-quality community services. Every elderly person who enjoys CCaH rights can not only enjoy home-based medical care from Yi Nian City and Yi Xiang City, but also enjoy integrated health care services such as customized activities, catering, health management, rehabilitation, and medical care in the community.

There are new options for those who want to retire in a familiar place while enjoying the atmosphere of home. Ping An Zhen Yi Nian is deployed in the core areas of core cities, so that the elderly living here can enjoy convenient and abundant medical, cultural and commercial resources, and also allows them to stay away from their children, relatives and friends, and try not to change their original lives. Based on your habits, you can experience better quality services.

For the other group of people who want to live in retirement, Ping An Zhen Yinian has also established “Yinian City” in Shanghai, Hangzhou and other places. They can cooperate with Yinian City communities and Yixiangcheng communities across the country, as well as with third parties around the world. Communities provide a sojourn experience and immerse you in the different scenery of each city.

It is worth mentioning that the health records of the elderly will be shared in different cities where they live, and will be connected by dedicated butlers throughout the process, ensuring that they enjoy a high-quality and safe living experience and that their children can rest assured.

Anxiety about aging largely comes from changes in physical condition and uncertainty about future life. But as the social trend toward longevity becomes clearer, so do the options. Ping An Zhen Yi Nian is committed to accommodating the elderly with different life styles and different care needs, and provides a reliable foundation for their later life. Ping An Zhen Yi Nian is not only building a senior care community, but also hopes to help promote a sustainable senior care culture.

In the future, Ping An Zhen Yi Nian will continue to innovate on the concept of “enjoying old age” based on new social trends, improve the layout of health care communities, and accompany users to start a new life at any time during the long years.

In the autumn of life, people can continue to live as before, no longer bound by time, and harvest the richest part of life. Retirement is not always so solemn. Perhaps we can reduce the psychological burden brought by “retirement” and regard retirement as a long-term plan – find a lifestyle that suits you and live a more stretched and open second half of life. .

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