Why are DIY Things Beneficial to Elderly People
I am currently touching up the vinyl tiles in my room. After years of use some are detached while other are broken around the edges.
I am doing it myself for two reasons:
First, I can’t afford a hired hand. I am living off a very tight budget – barely enough for the utility bills, my food and a little leisure. All the rest are taken cared of by my daughter. Lucky me! A lot of elderly people are not enjoying such luxury.
Second, I want to do it. Yes, that’s right. Doing it myself gives me a high sense of accomplishment. It makes me think of those days when work was “work.”
I am sure you know what I mean – those days when there was no computer or electronic calculator and people did computing work either by using the abacus, slide rule or cash register with a crank at the side that gave off ringing sounds when turned.
You must remember those days when you had to make your own kite, top, or wooden truck that you pulled with a string as you ran along. Do you?
I don’t like to sound nostalgic but those were the glory days of our youth. It was fun, it was challenging, and I accomplished things purely through mental and physical muscles. So did you.
Now that you are on the last stretch of your life, with lots of time to spare and no more pressure from career or family responsibility, wouldn’t it be great to relive those days and do things by yourself again?
Oh, society has a different name for it now – DIY, or “do it yourself.”
Here’s some good reasons why…
1. You save money:
The money you save by doing things yourself rather than buy them or pay other people to do it is not going to make you rich, but it can pay a utility bill, buy some groceries or a week’s supply of medications.
Don’t mind if other people scoff at you for being stingy. Live your life the way you see fit. What you do and how you do it is none of their business.
2. You can earn some cash:
Some people I know are earning good money by “selling” their DIY skills like car repair, curtain-making, making party decorations, or baking pastries and cakes.
There are always some people in your neighborhood who will pay good money for your skills.
There’s no need to be squeamish about it. If you have skills to sell, sell them. That would take some pressure off your tight budget.
3. It keeps you busy:
There are always a lot of things around the house other than watching TV for hours on end, or feeling miserable and lonely.
You can mend torn socks, iron laundry, learn how to prepare your meals, mow the lawn, of fix that roof that has been leaking buckets of water each time it rains.
These are just a few things you can do to keep you busy, healthy and happy.
4. Slows down cognitive decline:
DIY things require the close coordination between eyes, hands, and brain. Simply put, it is a physical and mental activity – two prerequisites for a healthy and happy life.
Some people find it so boring and tiresome. Maybe they have a good reason for it. But I bet you, they are the same people who talk of nothing the whole day but their ills and pills.
DIY things help bolster your ego, your self-worth and give you purpose.
5. Get connected with other people:
There are hundreds of people out there happily doing DIY things. In fact Facebook lists 17 DIY groups.
They gave themselves exotic and catchy names like The Crochet Crowd, CraftingGeek, Kreattiva, Caftsy, and many more.
Joining any of these groups is a good way of establishing a network of people with similar interest where you can help each other grow, find solutions to common problems, know the best suppliers of your DIY trade, or just to get to know each other better.
6. You learn something new:
Learning is a never ending process – from birth until death.
Anthony J. D’Angelo said, “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”
As you exercise your body, so must you exercise your mind through constant learning. If you stop, you become less motivated, less sociable, and less happy.
Take if from Henry Ford who said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty…”
7. It is liberating:
Doing things yourself frees you from the disappointment and frustration of relying on other people.
I can’t count the number of times, over the years, that things got screwed because the people i tasked to do them either did not come, did not deliver, or just did not do it the way they should be done.
Doing things yourself liberates you from these unproductive concerns and allows you to focus on what is at hand.
Where should you start?
It is not difficult to start DIY things around the house. Just look around and check what needs to be repaired. to improve add or remove.
There is the leaky faucet that needs fixing, drainage that needs unclogging, hanging roof eaves, creaking door hinges, lawn that needs de-weeding, or hedges that need pruning.
What were you so passionate about in your youth but never got the chance to pursue it. Now is the perfect time.
If all these don’t ring a bell, Bored Panda has a chunky list of DIY things for elderly people, like you. Check them out if any resonates with you.
At my ripe old age, I still do a lot of things around the house rather than hire people to do them for me. It is not about money, but the intrinsic of joy of doing it yourself.
Please share with your friends to help them realize the beauty of DIY things. Better still, subscribe to my list so you can get a weekly update of the exciting and bitter-sweet world of elderly people.