Fear and Loathing

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Am I afraid of getting old?  Hell yes! You might ask why it is, then, that I spend time working with the elderly and their caregivers and focusing on aging by writing many articles that deal with aging.    I work with the elderly because I want to try and change the dire landscape that exists today for the elderly.  What might that landscape be?  One where the “old” person is left to vegetate in a corner, where derogatory comments are made about getting old, where services are constantly being cut and tax monies are used for the young, in spite of the fact that the young make up a smaller percentage than the ever-growing older population.

As boomers, we really do not want to focus on the fact that we are aging, that we are moving into a period in our lives when we will be more vulnerable and needing to depend on others for our care (if death does not find us before then).  We were the generation that grew up with the Peter Pan song: “I won’t grow up.”  We could just as well sing it, “I won’t grow old.”  We do not want to confront our aging process and so we don’t.  By not acknowledging it, we believe it will go away.  We insist that by acknowledging it, we will somehow help it, affirm it in its manifestation.

Two years ago, I had a friend who truly believed that aging was an attitude.  This past year, she is noting changes in her capabilities and attributing it to age.  Yes, folks, it does happen.  The hardware does start to wear down, break, fall apart.

The reason I am afraid of getting old in this society is that we are not humane towards our elderly.  This might have something to do with the fact that we live in a mobile, youth oriented society that does not respect its elderly population.  Also, I happen to fit into the statistic of being a single, certain-aged female with no children or grandchildren.  I have to admit that the idea of finding myself in a nursing home being taken care of or ignored by poorly paid staff scares me.

We live in times where the technological developments of hospitals and the advancements in medication allow us to live longer.  But what has been overlooked is the quality of life our living longer affords us.  Is it really a great thing to live to be 90 years old but have no mind to speak of?  Or have only the choice of living in a potential hell hole wherein one lives a semi-comatose existence in some dark hallway by being fed psychotropic drugs to keep us quiet?

I would rather depart from this life in my ’70′s, when I still have some life in me than be kept alive with absolutely no life to speak of.  (A friend of mine who is in her ’70′s has told me that when I reach that age, I will probably have a different outlook.  I don’t doubt her wisdom on the matter, but I am also a firm believer that life should be lived fully and since we are all going to go at some point…..what is it the comedians say, “Leave them laughing”)  I also do not doubt that I will probably have what I call a “clutch” to life as I confront the fact that I will be departing it.  Ironically, part of what sustains the medical establishment’s focus on keeping individuals alive is something that I believe is a natural part of dying: the clutch to life.

Now maybe this topic seems morbid to those of you reading it, but the fact of the matter is, if we do not confront our aging process and our eventual demise, we will do nothing to change what happens to us as we age and we might find ourselves far outliving our usefulness in a state that we would never wish on anyone let alone ourselves.

© Yvonne Behrens, M.Ed  2013

 

 

Scams Everywhere

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Over the past few years, it seems that every time you turn around, you are reading about how the elderly are being taken advantage of or, at the very least, how the elderly should be aware that they could be taken advantage of.  I tend to get annoyed by all the trumpeting about scam artists and how the elderly need to protect themselves against these predators.  I have, in the past, looked on this as a bit of fear mongering and making the elderly feel more vulnerable.

However, just recently, I found myself the victim of a situation that could have been avoided and in which I was taken advantage, thus helping me to recognize that scamming can happen to anyone at any time.  This is what happened to me.

I needed to have some trees cut: they were too tall and too close to the house and winds have started to become much stronger in our area.

I looked at the newspaper and called a couple of numbers.  One person answered.  He came over to give me an estimate.  He had his nephew with him and he seemed like an okay guy, so we agreed that he would do the work.

The day he came over, he came with another individual, his brother, he told me.  This man had a wild look in his eyes.  He also brought a different kid.  So it was the two men and a kid.  As I recount this story, I am aware that the outcome is just as much my fault as anything they may have done.  But the element that allowed the outcome was that I felt intimidated by their numbers and by the wild look in the “brother’s” eyes.

They cut down some trees — did not cut down the tree that had originally been the reason to call a tree cutter.  But, and again, this is on me, when we had originally talked about that tree, we had spoken about cutting it down.  On reflection, what with the fact that it was a hardwood tree and actually acted as a block should any of the pine trees behind it be blown down, I decided that I only wanted to top it off.  They claimed that they did not have the equipment to do that.  The main fellow offered to bring me real firewood when they came back to finish the job and then charged me an exorbitant price for the work done.  I really do not know why I did not negotiate, but in part it was because this kid was in our faces and the the wild “brother” standing a few feet away.  Oh, and the fact that they would ask questions like: “So do you live here all alone?” and had spent ALL day hanging around the house doing their “work.”  All of that added up to my writing a check for an amount that I did not feel I should be paying for the work done.

They claimed they would come back the following week to finish the job, but, of course, I have not seen hide nor tail of them.  And, I just gave them the money.  I have called every single day, leaving various messages of anger, guilt-riding, threats, but to no avail.  I will give their names to the Better Business Bureau.

What did I learn from this?  Yes, one can be taken advantage of if one is feeling vulnerable.  What can be done to avoid this?

1) Do not call someone cold turkey.  Get a reference from a friend or a neighbor.

2) When you call, tell them they were referred by the person who referred them.

3) if  possible, ask someone else to be there when the person comes to give an estimate and when you are ready to pay for the work.

At least this is what I learned from my very expensive lesson.

© Yvonne Behrens, M.Ed  2013

 

 

More on Self-Esteem and SGS 2012 Conference

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[editors note:  I have had some major computer problems these past three weeks.  Have had to upgrade and thus also lost things.....ah!]

Springtime — and between the gardens and the fruit trees and the honey bees and this website and house things and ….and….and, oh yes, for a very impatient person, all the waiting and in a world where immediate is the name of the game, too much time has gone by since my last entry wherein I promised to let you, the reader, know how the conference and our workshop went at the  2012 Southern Gerontological Society Conference in Nashville, TN.  As it had been in Richmond, two years ago, there were some very excellent presentations.  Not as many participants, however, which was a bit of a disappointment.

Denise Scruggs, and I gave a workshop entitled: “Promoting Self-Esteem Among Older Adults”  It went well.  We generated quite a bit of discussion and very positive input.   We are planning to take the project to the next level: More research to wrap the topic up and then workshops to introduce into facilities and/or individuals.

With regard to the topic of self-esteem, because it is subjective, it is difficult to measure.  There was a measuring instrument created by Dr. Morris H. Rosenberg in 1965 that psychologists continue to use to this day as the most effective measuring instrument.  Yes, there is a core schema or self-concept that is mostly maintained throughout life and that core self-concept can basically be one of high or low self-esteem.  But throughout life, one’s self-esteem can be affected by circumstances.  Thus, the topic is not cut and dry.

On the topic of self-esteem among the elderly, a fascinating presentation, “Predictors of Prison Adjustment Among Older Women” was given by Lori Farney, MA, who did a study on women in prison.  Her conclusion among several shared: prison life erodes inmates self-esteem causing depression and a sense of hopelessness.   She told a story of a woman who had been incarcerated for over 17 years when she had met her.  She was in prison for having killed her abusive spouse.  She was up for parole.  Her son came and she had several other individuals speaking on her behalf.  Her son spoke about how his mother had done what she had done to protect herself and her children.  There seemed to be a positive response.  But then this woman, age 65, received a letter denying her parole and stating that her case would be reviewed in three years.  What hope is left for this woman?  Hope is very much a characteristic of individuals with healthy self-esteems.

As Ms. Farney shares:

Older women also have to deal with ageism which many describe as “inescapable” behind bars.  they cannot cover their grey or thinning hair. they may lose their teeth and be unable to have them replaced.  One woman who had a problem with facial hair had taken to shaving since waxes and tweezers were unavailable. And as one woman said, “Getting an age appropriate bra is impossible.”

Ms. Farney continues:

Since older women have more emotional and physical health problems, they may be viewed with suspicion or apathy. Older women are often extremely afraid of getting sick in prison and needing prison healthcare which they often view as unsympathetic and inept. Their greatest fear is often dying in prison. Many women in prison have suffered sexual abuse before incarceration. Strip searches and the constant threat of being seen in a state of undress are particularly deleterious to these women.

Stark realities that we may not be exposed to as often in our society were we are “free” to color our hair or “work” on ourselves to avoid “looking” our age.  But Ms. Farney’s exposure and her sharing certainly were sober reminders that self-esteem can be adversely affected in certain environments, particularly in the aging process, when we become more vulnerable. 

There were many sessions which I was not able to attend but which I would have liked to attend or seen.  I was interested in all of the ones that I would associate with the loss of self-esteem.  For example, there were several poster sessions that focused on how life changes might affect one’s outlook:  “Mental Health Effects of Farm work for Farmers and Farm Couples over Age 50″ and “An Examination of Body image and Disordered Eating among Older Males” and “The Effect of Transition into Spousal Bereavement on Mental Health of Middle and Older Adults ” and “Age Differences in Coping Strategies Among Women in Later Adulthood.”  All in their ways touched on the question of self-esteem.  A pilot program on “Media Images of Aging: The New Ageism and Self-Esteem” is exploring whether media, in its attempt to draw in the aging boomer market, may be adversely affecting a normally aging person’s sense of self by their “youthful” aging advertising.

Sessions at the conference were diverse.  So many topics to choose from.  So little time!  However, the common theme was the aging person in our society and all those areas that might impact their experience of aging, whether it might be the aging of children with intellectual challenges born in the ’50′s and ’60′s or focusing on how to create age friendly cities and what different cities are doing around the country.

One area of major concern is the fact that younger people are not gravitating towards gerontology as a career.  (for the next article).

© Yvonne Behrens  2012

 

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Self-esteem in the Elderly

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Self-Esteem for sale

Self-Esteem for sale (Photo credit: fran6co)

My colleague, Denise Scruggs, and I will be giving a workshop on promoting self-esteem in older adults at the Southern Gerontological Society Conference in Nashville, TN.

One might ask, “Why?”  Boomers, the next aging population, are known to have higher self-esteem than their parents or grand-parents apparently had, aren’t they?

But according to a recent study, those facing the big six-0 will also be facing a decline in the value they place upon themselves.  That’s the broad conclusion of a new study showing changes over the human lifespan based on interviews with a total of 3,617 Americans over a 16-year period from 1986 to 2002  (Orth, Trzesniewski, Robins).

Because we boomers, as a group, have had the tendency to be in denial with regard to our aging, that decline could be dramatic. Stop with the hair coloring, stop with the face lifts, stop with marrying someone younger than you, stop all those super athletic recreational activities, stop one’s role in the work place and what is left?

The above mentioned study found that the factors that had the largest influence on one’s sense of self include:

*Income and health.  In our money oriented society, it follows that we would associate money with power.  It also follows that if our independence becomes eroded by health issues, this would affect our sense of self in a negative way.

*Education plays a major role in maintaining self-esteem. Participants with higher education outranked those with less education throughout their lives.

*  The study confirmed that women had lower self-esteem than men through most of their lives, but the two genders were about equal by the time participants reached their 80s.  I suppose that men in their ’80′s have probably lost pretty much everything by which they defined themselves earlier in their lives.  One might reflect on the statement that it is at this time that men and women “were about equal” in their self-esteem.

*The self-esteem of whites and blacks differed only a little at age 25. However, black participants declined more sharply than white participants from about age 60. A further study to look into the factors that cause this discrepancy would be warranted

Beyond these global attributions to the loss of self-esteem, there are also factors of daily living.  The loss of loved ones, in particular spouses, can have an impact on one’s self-esteem.  In fact, findings from a study conducted by Julie Ann McMullin and John Cairney (2004) showed that single people have lower self-esteem than married people demonstrating that receiving feedback from a significant other helps promote a positive self-image.  When that person, with whom you could confront major challenges, bounce ideas off of, share life’s moments with, or was your biggest fan is no longer there and you do not receive regular feedback of your existence, that can erode self-esteem.

What about finding yourself not being able to keep up with the rapidly changing world you used to be a part of?  How would that make you feel?  Pretty worthless, no?

Or, and this is probably the saddest of all, being an old person that people are not interested in because, well, let’s face it, ageism is alive and well in our society.

So this is why Denise and I plan to present tools to our colleagues by which they can help promote positive self-esteem to those confronting that change of life: aging.

I will let you know how it went.

© Yvonne Behrens  2012

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Can Anti-Psychotic Abuses Be Stopped?

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Just as I think I have presented a fairly comprehensive picture about the abuses of anti-psychotic prescriptions and the elderly,  I come across another horror story. This time, the story appeared in the AARP Bulletin.

Apparently, in Florida, that golden state for retirees, a psychiatrist, Huberto Merayo,

“prescribed powerful drugs to thousands of patients at his Coral Gables, FLa., practice. In 2009 alone, he doled out more than 7,500 prescriptions to some 1,600 patients.  And that cost taxpayers big-time.  That year, Medicaid paid more than $1.9 million to fill scripts for antipsychotics written by Merayo.”

To add insult to injury, Merayo was earning $100,000 in consulting and speaking fees from the pharmaceuticals that manufactured these drugs.

Unfortunately, this story is not an isolated incident.  Lawmakers are apparently considering writing legislation that would address the misuse in administrations of these anti-psychotic drugs to the elderly.

Our elderly are frail and need protection.  The weakness inherent in creating laws by which to do this, of course, is the ability to manipulate the laws and/or the all too prevalent tendencies on the part of our lawmakers to be bought.

No.  The only way to protect the frail is to have a community, a village, if you will, or an extended family in which many people take responsibility for the care and protection of their nanas and grandpas.  Add to this picture doctors, general practitioners or geriatric, who know their patients and know what ailments may arise as one ages and, we might nip most of the abuses in prescribing anti-psychotic drugs that are prevalent today.  Oh, but then I guess I am talking about a society in which humans and not profits are the focus.  Hm.

[Next week: Why the dearth of geriatric practioners?]

 

 

Health Care or Mis-Care

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[Although I know that most people prefer to watch inspirational videos rather than harsh ones like the one I am showing in the next frame, how our society treats the elderly needs to be looked at in all of its harsh realities.  So for the next few weeks to parallel the blogs I have been writing about the elderly, the video will remain.  Please do view it, because in order to change things, one has to confront square in the face what is or can be unpleasant.  Bear with me.  I promise the next video will be inspirational. ]

In my last two blogs,  I have been exploring anti-psychotic drugs and the elderly.  According to a research done by the University of Florida in 2010,  70% of those entering nursing homes end up on psycho-active drugs within three months of entering the home in spite of having no prior history of psychotic problems. Although dementia may occur in old age, more often than not, the delirious or dementia like behaviors are most likely caused by medication or the interactions of several medications the elderly person may be taking.  Benzodiazepines, opiates and tricycic anti-depressants are the main culprits.  These pills come in very many variations and are extremely prevalent in our society.  Today’s blog is exploring the effects that these drugs can have on older users.

AFFECTS ON OLDER PEOPLE

As one ages, The body’s ability to clear drugs decreases often because of a normal age-related decrease in kidney and liver function. This results in a greater accumulation of drugs in the body.

Secondly, Older patients are often prescribed multiple drugs at the same time. Due to complicated interactions between different drugs, side effects can become more prominent.

Last, Some research have demonstrated that neurotransmitters become naturally imbalanced as people age, increasing the brain’s sensitivity to drugs that have activity in the central nervous system.

With the regular use of anti-psychotic drugs in nursing homes, it is no wonder that the Rovner, et al study concluded that nursing homes were “de facto psychiatric institutions.”

Let’s look at the above facts in more detail:

Number 1.  When doctor’s prescribe medication, they often prescribe the full dose without recognizing that in an older patient, “the body’s ability to clear drugs decreases with age.” For example the equivalent dose of diazepam (a short-acting Benzodiazepine) in an elderly individual on lorazepam (a long-acting Benzodiazepine) should be up to half of what would be expected in a younger individual.  Giving full doses of these medications are sure to cause the side effects to increase in severity the more the drug accumulates in the system.

Paradoxically, an overdose of Benzodiazepines can cause the effects it has been prescribed to diminish, ie, anxiety, delirium, combativeness, hallucinations, and aggression.[ (Wikipedia)

Number 2: “Older patients are often prescribed multiple drugs” many patients do not realize that they are taking too many drugs or taking drugs that might interact with the other drugs in an adverse way. Sometimes they may have two prescriptions for the same drug under two different names, thus inadvertently increasing the dosage.

With the fact that “Some research suggest that neurotransmitters” change as we age affecting the brain’s sensitivity to drugs continues the argument that prescribing drugs to older patients has to be done with extreme care.

With all these factors at play, it becomes of utmost importance, then, that in-depth evaluations are done if and/or when an elderly person begins to manifest dementia-like symptoms.

Public Citizens points out:

“Because cognitive impairment caused by drugs is so frequently overlooked, it is important that when symptoms of confusion, altered concentration or difficulty thinking occur that you and your physician review any medications you are taking to determine if any of them might be the cause.

Fortunately, if the cause is a medication, your symptoms should go away or become less severe after stopping the drug, even if it takes weeks or months. (http://www.worstpills.org/includes/page.cfm?op_id=459)”

And Dr. Gary Oberlender, a Specialist in Geriatric medicines,  points out that

“Dementia as the cause of a senior’s cognitive decline should only be considered after a thoughtful and thorough medical evaluation has excluded a potentially reversible cause. The list of common causes of dementia in seniors is short. It includes Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia (stroke), Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and alcoholic dementia.”

In recent months, the overuse of anti-psychotic drugs is beginning to be noticed.  In an article that appeared in The Telegraph, doctors can get up to five years jail time in the British Isles for prescribing these drugs to the elderly.  Here in the U.S., nursing homes are being forced to reduce their use of anti-psychotic drugs 

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Nursing Homes as De Facto Psychiatric Institutions

Assorted Medicine Pills in Caps

[Continuation of blog on anti-psychotic drugs for the elderly 2011]

“….within three months of admission, 70 percent or more of nursing home residents are on at least one medication with psychoactive properties and 15 to 20 percent are on four or more,” according to a study that was done by the University of Florida in 2010 and reported by Aging Today.  The study also noted that most residents who are admitted to nursing homes come without a history of either psychiatric diagnoses or treatment.

Although dementia does strike some older individuals as a “side effect” of aging, there is more and more acknowledgement that a lot of dementia-like symptoms are caused by the interactions of drugs.

According to a study done by the citizen advocacy group, Public Citizens, Worstpills.org (http://www.worstpills.org/includes/page.cfm?op_id=459):

“As people age, they become more susceptible to delirium and dementia** caused by drugs. This is known as drug-induced cognitive impairment, and it is an important syndrome to recognize….

Both in the hospital and office settings, drug-induced cognitive impairment is often overlooked [emphasis added] and attributed to an underlying medical illness or merely to “old age,” when it is actually a side-effect of a drug. In many cases, the reason for prescribing the culprit drug is questionable, or the cognitive impairment is related to taking multiple drugs at once.”

A study done in 1990 by Barry Rovner, et al which appeared in an issue of International Psychogeriatrics found that there was a high prevalence of mental health problems in nursing homes, so much so, that they concluded that nursing homes “can be viewed as de facto psychiatric institutions.”

Dr. Gary Oberlender, a Specialist in Geriatric Medicine, has done many evaluations of older individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia.  He concludes that:

“…..cognitive decline in a senior does not necessarily mean that the person has Alzheimer’s disease, or even that the person has dementia. There are many potential causes for why a senior might have memory loss, disorientation, trouble concentrating, loss of interest, or any of the other common manifestations of cognitive decline.

It is important to recognize that for many seniors, the ability to think clearly and maintain normal cognitive function is a very fragile thing. For some seniors, cognitive performance is the weakest link in their chain. It is the first thing to become impaired when faced with a stressful situation. Any physical, emotional, or even environmental stress can tip the balance and push them over the cognitive cliff.”

One can easily imagine the stress that an elderly person might feel when being moved from their home into a strange situation with strange people manipulating them physically (helping them change and bathe, cleaning them, etc.), surrounded by strangers and eating unfamiliar foods, having to follow a whole schedule that might be different from the one that they had been living.

Dr. Oberlender continues:

“Drug side effects or the onset of depression manifesting as cognitive decline are very common in seniors — more common than the general public or even many health care providers appreciate.

Other potential causes for cognitive decline in seniors include impaired hearing or not listening (these are two different things!); anxiety; vitamin B-12 deficiency; stroke or poor blood flow to the brain; thyroid disease; anemia; poorly controlled diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease; and inadequate nutrition.

None of these are causes of dementia but any one of them can cause a senior to experience significant cognitive decline and look for all the world as if they have dementia! Furthermore, almost all of these potential causes has the potential to be reversed,(emphasis added) which in turn would improve or totally reverse the cognitive decline.”

PSYCHIATRIC PROFILE OF NURSING HOME RESIDENTS

The Rovner, et al study found that there were  “three main categories of residents with psychiatric problems in nursing homes: Those with serious mental illness, those with dementia and behavioral problems, and those who are anxious or depressed.”  The last category, according to the study, is caused by “reduced functioning caused by medical problems and difficulties adjusting to nursing home life.”  Interestingly, there does not seem to have been further exploration done to see whether the second category, ie dementia and behavioral problems, might not be caused by the same reasons.

CULPRITS

There are three drugs regularly prescribed that have side effects that can cause dementia like symptoms:

Benzodiazepines:  These are tranquilizers and sleeping pills which are often prescribed for anxiety, to sedate chronically ill patients, or patients that are planning to undergo surgery.  They are highly addictive and there is a withdrawal that does occur if stopped.

“People who take benzodiazepines chronically for anxiety, which is not recommended, can also develop more chronic cognitive impairment. Furthermore, because addiction to benzodiazepines is common, stopping them abruptly can result in a withdrawal syndrome similar to what is seen with alcohol withdrawal, including sweating, agitation, confusion, hallucinations and even seizures.”

One can see that these combinations are in and of themselves not great but if a patient does not recognize that certain symptoms they are experiencing are being caused by the medication or from withdrawals by stopping the medication, they end up being caught in a cycle of pills and counter-pills to try and alleviate the symptoms.

Opiates: We know that opiates can cause delirium and fogginess of thinking.  They are used quite regularly to alleviate pain of any kind — from a sports injury to cancer.  As with Benzodiazepines, their effectiveness diminishes with use.  The response is to increase the dosage, which increases the symptoms.   Opiates can cause delirium and the more chronic cognitive changes seen in dementia.

Tricyclic antidepressants:  Although an older version of anti-depressant, they continue to be used for severe depression and also for pain symptoms, particularly neuropathy.

Since cognitive impairment symptoms are generally attributable to these three drugs, we need to ask how these drugs might affect an older person.

[Continue on Health Care or Mis-Care to come out next week]

© Yvonne Behrens, M.Ed  2011

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Is Aging an Attitude?

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A senior citizen in trying to slow down his process of aging by physical fitness exercises

A senior citizen in trying to slow down his process of aging by physical fitness exercises

Now that I am on the cusp of the “twilight years” in my own life, I have been actively contemplating the question of aging.  The outcome has been to want to try and present an alternative to the image of aging that so dominates our society (ah, yes, I am a typical baby boomer through and through!) and provide a more palatable embrace of a thing that is, ultimately, unavoidable, i.e., the aging process.

Yes, we have to confront that aging and decline are part of the life experience.  We will all go through decline either because of disease or as our body parts break down. But as a society, we have pushed back the idea of “old” from 60 to 80, which brings me to the title of this article.

In the end, the aging process really is more about one’s health and outlook on life than on the years one has lived.  No question that those who are dealing with health issues as they age will have a less pleasant time than those who do not and it may be harder for them to have a positive outlook, but the same could be said about a 20 year old confronting health issues.  Ironically a healthy 80 year old can feel as young as 50 and an unhealthy 50 year old can feel 80.

There are also those things that do occur naturally as we age and which we need to accept as part of the aging process (although the health industry is working hard at finding ways to keep those tendencies pushed back).  The neuro-modulators in one’s brain do slow down.  One tends to find oneself in greater frequency making the statement: “I have the name, place, whatever on the tip of my tongue.”  And, yes, there is an increase in the question “Now why did I come into this room?”

The old injuries tend to make themselves more noticed.  Arthritis starts to creep into the joints.

The ability to do in a day seems to only become more challenging.  Things we used to do with ease may not be as easy to do or may not be done with the same vigor.  Body parts do start to sag.

But as soon as you look away from the mirror or get involved in an activity that you love, poof, out of the window goes the sense of, “Jeez!  When did I get so old?” and that person who is at least ten years younger than my birth date tells me I am  [See: How Old Do You Think You Are?] takes over, enjoying and interacting with life.  And, I certainly would never trade the who I am now to the who I was when I was 20.  Sure, I do think that the 20-30 year old body is more attractive than the 50-60 year old body, but I think the 50-60 year old mind is much more interesting than the 20 year old mind.

Our connection with life continues regardless of age and we have the opportunity to explore these years of aging with the same curiosity and gratitude we had when we were younger.  The outcome will be to find out that life is just as rich in experience now as it was then.  Maybe even richer.  But, and this is important, it really has to do with the attitude in which you enter your twilight years.

So although we do change mentally and physically as we age, our attitude going into the aging process is key to how we relate to these changes.

 

© Yvonne Behrens, M.Ed  2011

 

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