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Why does life become richer after retirement? How not to turn into an old man and stay active? These and other questions were answered by the participants of the Moscow Longevity project.

October 1 is celebrated around the world as the International Day of Older Persons. Live in Moscow over 1.8 million citizens over 65 years old. But many of them do not consider themselves elderly at all. They find new hobbies, master modern professions, study languages, play sports and dance, learn to draw and sing.

The project gives many opportunities to the townspeople “Moscow longevity”… Thanks to him older Muscovites communicate, find friends with the same interests, and some – even their love.

In the spring, during the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the project’s classes went online. Now older Muscovites again recommend staying at home… If you still need to go outside, then in public places it is imperative to use masks and gloves and observe social distance.

Participants of Moscow Longevity told how they feel elderly, how to stay active after 70 and why it is important to find something to do.

Alexander Katsovich: I feel like a young man

– I am 74 years old. He retired at 60, but continued to work. Once upon a time, I was a French translator. After the collapse of the USSR, whoever he was, in the end he ended up in the organization of my friend, was engaged in military acceptance.

When I finished working, I realized that no one else would take me. But in front of me was the whole world, you can do whatever you want. Take an interest, create, I did not experience any decay at that moment. I had to devote myself to something. While working, I became interested in photography, I did it at the amateur level. Now I’m trying to master Lightroom and Photoshop. It’s difficult for me, in my childhood there were no computers and gadgets.

When I became a member of the Moscow Longevity project, I accepted it with great enthusiasm. I went to gymnastics qigong and yoga, refused paid classes. In general, he began to practice yoga at the age of 71, so as not to turn into an old man at all.

A yoga coach once told me that anyone can draw something. Before that, they told me all my life that I could not. Then I decided to try it and went to study. He attended classes in watercolor and academic painting, even tried oil. And really now I can do it. Of course, not an artistic talent, but I can draw something. It brings such satisfaction that I am ready to continue.

In 2017, I decided that I would go on an expedition to places of military glory, the so-called search engine watch. I went with old acquaintances whom I had known for 15 years. I had never participated in their trips before, but then I decided why not. I am free, and I still have strength. In 2017, I traveled twice, in 2018 and 2019, once. Over the years, the strength becomes less and less, and I do not want to be a burden for young people.

I also read a lot, walk in the park with my wife. I don’t have enough time for anything, I am constantly busy with something. Friends tell me: “And if you also worked?” I answer that then I would have had much more free time (laughs. – Ed.).

Quarantine has made certain changes in my life. To study at home, you need to have some conditions, be an organized person or strive for this. Unfortunately, I can’t boast of anything like that. I do daily exercises, took up the brushes a couple of times.

After retirement, life has become richer. Any work that you do without passion, and mine was just that, does not bring pleasure. When you leave this, something appears that you really like.

I still feel like a young man in my head, but I’m learning to look at myself from the outside. I understand that over the years I do not get stronger, stronger or harder. However, I try to use the opportunities to the maximum, in order to slowly give up what age forces to give up. I got rid of bad habits, I walk a lot.

The main thing is not to stop and not give up. If you stop working, keep looking for yourself elsewhere. Here I am very grateful to the Moscow Longevity project. I have friends who have stopped working and cannot find any occupation for themselves, they are not interested in anything, and this depresses them. But in fact, you need to try and not put barriers to yourself with the words “I can’t” or “I can’t.” And interest can suddenly appear.

Rimma Fomicheva: 80 is not the limit, life is just beginning

– Now I am 81 years old. Until 70 I worked, the last place – the Moscow Institute of National Economy named after Plekhanov (now – Russian Economic University named after G.V. Plekhanov), where I was a senior researcher. When I went on a well-deserved rest, I immediately went to the social service center. Thanks to this, I began to attend various events: both regional and city ones. There was simply no time to miss work.

She completed two courses at the Silver University. First of all, I learned to work on a computer. It was necessary. My son is deaf, he lives in another country, I had to somehow communicate with him.

I also completed the Five Steps to Volunteering course. After that, she began to take part as a volunteer in various events – sports and cultural, helped at conferences. For two years, there were about 60 events. When the Moscow Longevity project was just beginning, I was already a volunteer there.

Then in the project I went to the classes “Style, Fashion, Beauty”. Before that, I was already a model, and in general I am a lover of dressing up. During the lessons, different speakers tell how to choose the right wardrobe, how to take care of your face and hair, there were lectures on etiquette.

By the way, I also studied during the period of restrictions, when the project “Moscow Longevity” switched to a remote format. While still in self-isolation, I started doing morning exercises online, graduated from the course of the Academy of Memory “Clear mind” under the Moscow Longevity program, and did finger gymnastics.

I liked the online classes, it was easier with them during self-isolation. Many people asked how I was able to endure this period with my activity. And I took part in webinars almost every day, and I was not lonely.

I also learned to order groceries at home. I liked it so much that I continued to do it after the restrictions were lifted. Moreover, I live on the fifth floor without an elevator. I studied various services and recommended others to try.

I have been dancing since childhood, but I don’t go to classes as part of the project. Dance is freedom. I dance at balls, I also go to retro dances and concerts in the Meridian cultural center. I love taking pictures, sharing pictures on social networks, participating in fashion shows, carnivals. I am also deputy chairman of the territorial council of veterans and public adviser to the Gagarinsky district council.

All my life I have been active, it is interesting to me. Knitting or sewing is not mine, I don’t sit on a bench, there is no vegetable garden, and they don’t load my great-grandchildren. At one time, I devoted a lot of time to raising and educating my child. Despite the difficulties we constantly faced, he made great strides.

My family supports me. They say: “Granny, we look up to you.” And I show them that 80 is not the limit, life is just beginning. Until 80, I didn’t even say how old I was. But the age is felt. Now I say, and I am even proud – not everyone is allowed to live up to 80, even so actively.

Those who come to social service centers are good for me as children. My son is already 56 years old. You think, how can it be, is my son so many years old. By the way, I’m not talking about the Day of the Elderly, but the Day of the Older Generation.

I always advise everyone to be active. When I visit the TCSO, I go there as if on a catwalk, I definitely need to dress up. I also encourage others, I help to pick up brooches, handkerchiefs. Many lonely, withdrawn, walk in the same thing. And here I help, and when the appearance changes, many seem to come to life.

Everyone also needs to learn computer literacy, albeit at some minimal level. This is a necessity, in my opinion. They always tell me how I know about certain events. And I just go online and find out where and what events are taking place. I see where the granddaughter is, where the son is, what they do, tell them what I do myself.

“Moscow Longevity” is a great achievement, I am simply delighted. Someone may be interested in fitness, while others – Scandinavian walking. These are different possibilities for different people.

Vocals and Yoga in the Park: Offline Classes of the Moscow Longevity Project Started Participants of the “Moscow Longevity” attended more than four thousand classes

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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