Use It

One of my mother’s favourite sayings, recently, has been that

growing old is not for wimps.

My mom was a very young 79 and didn’t slow down for much. It was the year of her 80’s birthday party when age seemed to creep in rather like a thief in the night. Perhaps several years of caring for my dad, who was mostly blind and quite dependent on her, had taken it’s toll. As she aged she then began to do less and as she did less then she could only do less. Which lead me to say to her regularly that

if you don’t use it you lose it.

But it’s hard, sad, frustrating and depressing. You’ve lived long and hard and paid your dues so to speak. Things should be easier in those golden years but not so. The physical aspects of your body start to give out. Some parts are replaceable like knees and heart values but some systems don’t lend themselves to that like osteoarthritis or diabetes. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and low hemoglobin seem to be prevalent as does some form of dementia.

It’s no wonder that so many seniors suffer from depression. Financial worries are only one aspect of many concerns in the list that includes the death of your spouse and friends plus the loss of a hard fought for independence. Losing the drivers license is a huge blow to many as they struggle to stay connected to the world outside. The older “seniors” in this age group have seen so much change and many of them felt too old and challenged to learn about all the new technology. Now it feels like life is out of their reach as the weekly newspaper dies away and Sunday night family supper slips from the radar.

There are so many variables in these equations that you can only really control a small portion. We need to take charge of the aspects which we personally are responsible for like weight, alcohol consumption, smoking and obesity.

Planning ahead financially seems to be a standard in the industry. The only aspect of health care that is planned ahead is the final end — DNR or do not resuscitate.

But I think there are aspects we all need to think about as we age. And aging happens as soon as you are born so we all need to look ahead once you reach adulthood. If you are 25 it’s time to think long term financial goals. If you are 50 it’s time to plan what your retirement will look like and get yourself in shape for it; physically and mentally. It appears to me, from the outside, that at about 75 the quieter phase of retirement becomes the new normal. I believe that we owe it to ourselves at that stage to stay fit, connected and challenged.

I have just spent some time looking at abstracts from articles and looking for the link to an article I read about fitness levels and our aging body. Darn that I didn’t bookmark it and keep it handy. It’s important to me to stay active and I mean that on many levels but in this case it applies to the technological aspect of my life.

So as Red Green says

we’re all in this together. Keep your stick on the ice.

Bernie

These were my random rambling thoughts this afternoon as the dogs and I went for a long walk in the fabulous sunshine.

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