When your spouse, parent or another relative needs extra help as they get older, it’s natural and expected that children will step in to pick up the slack.
But imagine a life without kids or a spouse, it could be problematic in the long run.
This is the opinion of a single man, Losi Leo of Nofoali’i and Saleimoa. Yesterday, he was on his way to town to get medicine.
“I’m glad that we got to talk while I’m still alive,” he told the Village Voice team.
“I’ve been suffering from body pains and a headache and I think I’m just too old to do chores.
“I didn’t eat well last night and I feel as if something is roaming around in my stomach. I don’t know what it is.
“The only time I have some money is when I get my pension but not all of it. I have to give the other half to my older sister that I’m living with to help with the family,” he said.
“Life is hard because I don’t have anyone to look after me.
“Yes I may live with my family but I don’t want to be a burden to them because they have their own families.
“Sometimes I have thought to myself that I’m too old to have a wife and kids so I see it as an issue in my life.
The elderly man is a fisherman and a farmer.
“Usually when people get to live with their sibling’s family, no matter how old we are we still try and contribute to the family.
“That’s the same case with me, I don’t have a job but I work the land and catch some fish to help out.
“It’s hard for me most of the times because I can never ask for anything; I have to work it out myself.
“Even if I’m not okay, if my siblings ask me if there’s something wrong I always try to smile and tell them I’m fine.
“I have that feeling; they’ve got better things to worry about than worrying about me. It is also why I’m on the road at this time to find some medicine.
“Before I got sick, I used to work at our plantation; my nephews helped me out most of the time.
“I also have a fisherman’s skills so I visit the sea often and sell fish for money.
“I’m having a break now from the years I’ve been working to try and provide for my family with what I earn.
“To be honest I’m tired but I have no other option. I have got no one to turn to for support.”