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Why we have to risk something in old age

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There was that moment in the bedroom. Greta Silver was suddenly completely startled.

She was a homemaker for years and took care of her children with all her heart. Now she was standing in front of the beds that wanted to be created and she wondered: Is something wrong here? Of course, it would be most pleasant to raise your feet and dream of retirement. But Greta Silver decided otherwise.

Today, the 71-year-old has a Youtube channel, is a model and author of "Old enough to Feel Young," and she says, "I see aging as a start-up company. Now I can try new things I haven't had time for before. I don't want to think at the age of 100: I missed something. "

Retirement as an opportunity

This is also the opinion of Gerhard Sprakties, Altenseelsorger and author of the book "Happy aging instead of anti-aging". He thinks it's important to deal with it early on at an early age: "Otherwise, you will fall into an existential vacuum when you retire and suddenly you will not know what to do with all the time. This is an opportunity to test the limitations again."

But would you rather not regain your old age and move more carefully through life? "No, you don't have to do it as long as your physical fitness allows it," says Prof. Dr. Simon Forstmeier, Head of the Department of Clinical Life Psychology at the University of Siegen. Studies have shown that people between the ages of 60 and 80 are not necessarily less daring. What often changes is the need: "Older people want to make the most of their time."

Start small with big dreams

But is it simple? How do you find meaning in old age? "By being brave and grabbing at the right time," says Greta Silver. "I know so many older people who have dreams and don't know how to fulfill them." Their advice: start small.

"I have acquaintances who would like to open a cafe in their life," Silver says. "Of course, this is a big project that is not easy to implement." But you can get closer and, for example, start baking cookies for family gatherings in a circle of acquaintances and maybe develop a small business.

Greta Silver also started out like this: A Hamburg woman discovered a love for design and took over the interior of holiday homes and hotels without any experience. She later launched her Youtube channel, where she gives tips for more interesting things to do in old age.

There must be rebellion sometimes

But what if the environment looks very different? For example, if children are looking for more peace? "Then you should rebel against it if you don't want that kind of help," says Greta Silver. Of course it would be a gift if your concern is taken care of – but please not too soon.

Gerhard Sprakties also finds it troublesome when younger people push their help: "We have so many stereotypes about old age in mind. Many imagine sad, sick people who no longer want or cannot participate in society." They feel that they really are and adapt their role. ”

It should never be forgotten that a life expectancy between 60 and 90 is as long as a life between 30 and 60, says Greta Silver. "What a pity you don't use it?"