PV Subarao: Before I came to Priya Living, I was a scientist working in the field of plant biochemistry. Then, one day, I suddenly came across a weed called parthenium. Parthenium had spread like wildfire in India because some of the food grains imported from the United States were used for experimental places in India. This weed came out of nowhere and spread everywhere, giving many people across India skin and nasal allergies. This inspired me to change my scientific focus to the world of allergies, which is where I started working. This is the most significant achievement I have ever had. I have never looked back on my decision and became a scientist making original contributions in the field of allergies. During this time, I was also a professor from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and then worked for 10 years after retirement with the UB group as a president of research in Bangalore. After truly retiring from the field of science, I stayed in Bangalore for 3 years before moving to California approximately 2 years and settling down at a senior center. At the age of 80 years old, I am leading a nice, calm lifestyle. However, like most seniors who are aging, I have difficulty dealing with my health issues. As you are aging, the issues that come up include the aging of various organs and loss of memory. Eventually, everyone has to age and endure this ordeal; it would be nice to age gracefully instead of suffering in agony, but I will be alright. Right now, I meet any new people who come to Priya Living, but I do not meet others outside of the center due to my health issues. I don’t go out alone, therefore, I don’t meet anyone except those who come here. Thankfully, I am not alone because my wife is with me all the time. She is concerned about my health and won’t leave me alone for too long. Regardless, I still do whatever I want. For example, I like to exercise and improve my health so I do yoga, walk around the Priya Living area and of course listen to my wife’s health advice as she makes sure I have food at the right time and keep a balanced, much-needed diet. My wife and I spend our time enjoyed life, watching television, using our computers and getting a great 7-8 hours of sleep. I’m very grateful that my wife is always there for me, because I don’t really wish to be alone. I am honestly very lucky to always be surrounded by others as loneliness can be very depersonalizing and emotionally distressing. I am actually quite happy the way things are going. My daughters live close by but my wife and I did not want to live with them because we would feel alone when they went to work. Here at Priya Living, we don’t feel alone and everyone is here to support you. If you want to interact with someone you can easily do so, and if you don’t want to, you can simply stay in your cozy apartment. Priya Living is an excellent place to live since there are many nice people of my age group. We all meet each other, share our happiness, and share our problems. I must say, this is something very unique. As a few pieces of advice to all the readers, I would like to say, when you feel discouraged or unhappy, you should think about someone who is less fortunate than you and then proceed to thank god for what he has given you. You should not feel jealous of people who are better than you. If you come across people who are better than you, do not feel jealous, but instead, try to work hard to surpass these people in a healthy way, instead of putting them down in negative ways. My motto in life is “where there is a will there’s a way.” If you want to achieve something, don’t get discouraged, but instead, work for it and you will achieve it. How difficult could it be?
SSU Perspective: According to the New York Times, loneliness can seriously impair one’s mental health; this damage is not limited to just seniors, but also adolescents and young adults. Seniors who felt loneliness had higher rates of heart failure, dementia, stress levels, arthritis, diabetes, and even attempts at suicide. Moreover, loneliness has also been known to cause a cognitive decline in individuals over a long period of time. Surprisingly, researchers have found that loneliness is not caused by a lack in a number of connections, but a lack of meaningful relationships. Although there is no universal counter to loneliness, anyone can help prevent this epidemic by reaching out to their friends and family and build strong emotional connections.