Jump to content

Menu

I need hope - elderly with vibrant healthy lives?


Jean in Newcastle
 Share

Recommended Posts

Does this qualify as elderly? My mom is 72. She is a traveling artist. She sculpts, and does art shows up and down the east coast. FL to NY, and also to MI. Her work involves heavy lifting setting up her shows every weekend. She is happy, and hates staying home! Her boyfriend lives 5 hours from her, so if she's not on the road to a show, she's visiting him. Or me, 5 hours in another direction. :)

 

My father is a year older. Very active! Very healthy. Runs a hobby farm with joy, dean of a major uni's math dept, and still working in his lifelong field through contract work. Travels for work a lot. His motto is A Body in Motion Stays in Motion.

 

My in-laws are another story though, and your post earlier reminded me of MIL. They are the same ages as my parents.

 

Not sure they qualify as elderly, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents are 76, I don't really view them as elderly though. My dad has some issues, but my mom is beyond vibrant. She just had surgery for glaucoma and is so excited to see the world without the haze. They go out nearly every day, she still cooks, cleans, does everything. Even with my dad's issues they are the healthier of most of the people they know. She has facebook and an iPhone. I'm 45, somedays I feel older than her. My MIL is equally as vibrant and she's in her 70s as well. She writes novels and does her own publicity, etc.

 

My grandmother lived until age 94, she was physically sound, had some dementia in the last decade of her life, but before that lived on her own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mil is healthy, 85, and very active in her community. She volunteers several days a week, has a walking group, a lunch group, and takes tai chi. Many of the folks I met in a senior home I was looking at for my folks appeared to have active, enjoyable lives as well. And I golfed recently with an 80 plus woman, super nice. And she beat most of us!

 

My parents are the opposite side. Unhealthy, poor choices, and not active. But elderly. I think to some degree it comes down to the individuals themselves and the choices they make.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of DH's sets of grandparents is in their early-to-mid 70s. They're travelling the country in their minivan as they do genealogy research, meeting up with old friends and relatives all the time, and playing with the younger grandkids. When they're not traveling they're volunteering in the community. They just bought a house on a lake for the recreation (well, mainly to watch the younger folk recreate). They're not as young as they used to be, and they have some normal aging health issues, but they're living very full lives. I don't just mean physically active, either - I think they spend a lot of time quietly comtemplating things too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mother is 89 and my father is 87. They still live in the house I grew up in and are pretty active. They both still walk outside or on their treadmill and take care of their own cleaning and cooking. My dad is planning his garden for this spring. I'm still amazed that my mother fell off the back porch steps last fall and didn't break anything -- just a little bruised. I think they are doing pretty well. I'm hoping I can age as well as they have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mil is 85. She walks 2.5 miles daily. She drives herself to church, library, and grocery store*. She lives on her own but gets together with friends regularly. When she can she enjoys going to plays, opera, concerts. She even still has all her teeth. :D Her hobbies are walking, reading, and doing puzzles like crosswords and sudoku. She may move more slowly but is still quite sharp mentally.

 

 

*Although she drives herself she recognizes her limitations. If she needs to get someplace that requires driving longer distances or on busy roads/highways she gets SIL to take her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband's grandparents were both very active late in life. His grandfather went to work (a job doing errands for his son, who owns a business) until he was about 92. He drove and was fully independent. He lived to be 97. The last part of his life was affected by COPD, but he lived a very full and active life until then. His grandmother owned her own insurance business until her mid-80's and worked in it every day but Sunday, She was very active and healthy until 90. She is 94 with Alzeheimers now. However, both of these people enjoyed good health and meaningful pursuits past the life expectancy of many people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents are both 85. They're doing terrific. My dad cross countries skis two-three times/week. They went on a big trip to England, France and Switzerland in the fall. My dad works for H&R Block during tax season, and volunteers at several places. My mother still makes big dinners every day, and loves hosting. They both garden still, and keep up their home. I hope it runs in the family!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My great-grandmother lived to be 96. She lived independently until about 93. She had one of the sharpest minds and memories of anyone I have known. She wrote letters to people regularly and remembered the birthdays of all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. We all got a card from her every year.

 

My great-aunt lived to be 92. She retired from her job as a bookkeeper for a collections agency 6 months before she died. She would complain from time to time about the "boy" she worked for. He was 62 :). She was busy from the time she got up until the time she went to bed. Up until the few years before she died, she came and cleaned her nephew's house each week. One of the reasons his first wife gave for leaving him was because he was messy so my aunt was convinced that she was keeping her nephew's second marriage together by cleaning their home. It took them quite a while to convince her this wasn't necessary (she was very stubborn).

 

My maternal grandmother lives on her own. She is in her early 80s. She keeps busy at her church and loves helping out with her great-grandchildren. She gets more tired of late, but she is the kind of person who is always looking to help wherever she is, and she is still able to help a good bit.

 

Dh's grandmother does not live on her own now in her 90s but she did for quite some time. She still reads a book a week and does crossword and logic puzzles all the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandmother died in November at 103. She taught sunday school every week until she turned 100. She lived at home until she died and even wore her high heels until three months before she died. she continued to do 30minutes of floor exercises until 102. To give you a sense of her age, her grandfather lived with them until she was 12 and he fought in the civil war!

 

My father is 73. He runs 10 miles per week. He has just published two books this year, and just stepped down as the head of the department. He plans to stay a full professor until he turns 80 at which point he will writ his magnus opus as he calls it. He is also on the board of a newly created medical school in Africa (where he is for the next two weeks) and is currently THE medical advisor for a very large province in China where he visits two times a year for a few weeks. Last month he carried 100liters of bark all at once up 110 steps to my yard, and he did not have a heart attack.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandmothers.

Grandma 1 lived with our family until she was 93 years old, sick for three days, died in her own bed. She was our homemaker, helped raise the kids (I was born when she was 72, my mom worked out of town, grandma took care of me when I was a baby) and kept out household running. We lived on a hill, plus 76 stairs to the house - grandma went down to town twice a day to shop. She had a group of friends (but sadly, they all died before her). Was alert and sharp, followed current events, read, played cards.

Grandma 2 lived in another town. She lived to be 91 years old. She worked as a pedicurist out of her home well into her 80s, kept her favorite clients. She drove, walked, socialized. In her 70s, she moved her 20 years older mother into her home and took care of her until great-grandma died at 96. In the last years, her tenants moved out and she was somewhat lonely, because she was always a people person. I remember long walks in the woods with her.

 

I also have two colleagues in their mid 70s. One teaches, does research, still publishes, is involved in advising a sorority, loves what she does, and has no inclination to retire. The other teaches several very difficult upper level classes, is the primary advisor for the students, does all the class scheduling for the department... great people, both. Students enjoy them, because they are full of excitement and enthusiasm. If you still love your field in your 70s, that's fabulous!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandmother is 96 and lives independently in her two-storey home. She doesn't drive anymore, but she does go out several times a week. She participates in a hospital-based exercise program. I think her worst problem is that her contemporaries, and even those who are significantly younger than her, have died, so she is kind of lonely.

 

My parents are in their mid-seventies and my mom is a whirlwind of activity and energy. She has so many projects and activities going that it makes my head spin. She also exercises daily. My father works part time and is a bit less energetic than my mom, but still involved in a lot of stuff. I don't really think of them as elderly, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Aunt is 72 and running circles around me. :laugh: She's in the library club, the gardening club, has her own garden shares, travels all over the place, loves birdwatching. She makes everyone's Christmas presents and they are *gorgeous*.

 

She was an RN, and has been a heath nut *forever*. Meaning, whole wheat and real peanut butter and vitamins all the way back when. She goes to Curves three times a week.

 

She is very influential to me as far as how health choices impact our later years.

 

My Uncle is 86 and is as healthy as a horse. His own father lived to 99, though, so we expected this out of him. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mom is 85, lives totally indecently and has a full life. In fact she is just returning from 8 weeks in California (she lives in British Columbia). Honestly we don't even think of her as a little old lady.

 

She has aches and pains from a hard teenage life growing up in Germany during WW2. But her mind is spry!

 

Her mom lived to 94.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of our clients is 101 years old, and she's still incredibly sharp and witty. She still lives alone and does everything for herself -- she even goes to the gym every day.

 

She is AMAZING!

 

My grandmother was still very scrappy at 96, but I'm telling you, if you met the 101 year-old woman, you'd never guess she was over 70. NEVER!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know several men and women who are very active in their 80's. some who still travel quite a bit. One woman in her 80s babysat her twin infant grandsons (she was in her 40's when she had her dd who was near 40 when she had the twins), and found them reenergizing. I have one dear older woman who was still having supersoaker fights with her grandchildren/great-grandchildren in her 70s. she also traveled to europe with some grandchildren in her 80s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite (and best) Professor when I got my Master's was in her 80's. Still teaches!

 

My Dad, 83(?) lives alone, drives, gets himself to his restaurants and doctors appointments, rides the stationary bike every single day.

 

He doesn't like to drive at night anymore, though,and is likely to have his other hip replaced soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandmother will claim that she is in her "mid 80s," although my DS7 has done the math and knows that Gigi needs to work on her estimating. Everyone in the family claims she's still acts 65, as she is in numerous clubs and organizations. She is also active in Facebook (god help us all), her church, and chasing her slightly younger husband around. She is diabetic, and takes one pill a day in the morning to control her "shu-gahs."

 

My MIL is in her 70s and runs a half-dozen clubs, committees, and nonprofits. She is more social and active than I am. She also shovels her own driveway (lives in the midwest), mows her own lawn and basically orchestrates the carpool that keeps my nieces and nephews cool and hip.

 

My other grandmother runs our family's multi-generational farm (with my aunt's help).

 

I come from a long line of kick-a++ ladies. I hope my energy improves as I age, or they are going to be running circles around me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my FIL is 90. he is vibrant, very mental y active, he does cross words in English German and Latin every day> Physically he is slowing down, but still goes to the health clinic ( like a gym) every day, snow ploughs his very long driveway, does house maintenance, and chops his own firewood. he just needs to take breathers often.

 

My MIL is 91 she has extremely good health, but unfortunately is completely blind due to macular degeneration. this has slowed her down considerably, though she still catches the bus and goes to the shopping centre that she is familiar with to do some shopping.

 

My grandmother is in her 80's about 14 years ago she hit upon the great idea of marrying someone 35 years younger than her. this has meant she has a travel companion, someone to drive her around, and (sad to say) someone to boss around to her hearts delight. This has kept her extremely active. she goes on bus tours regularly , and up until a2 years ago went on trips around the world. unfortunately she has had to slow down a little this year as in December she slipped and cracked her hip. though she has her next bus trip all booked for later on this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The neighbor across the street at our last house was in her 90s, and still was out and running to the grocery store or to meet friends all the time. Her boyfriend (feels silly to call him that, but she told me more than once that he wanted to marry but she wasn't ready to make that commitment) passed away while we lived there, but she kept on going. She had herbs and tomatoes and flowers in front of her house, and she loved it when we brought our kids over. She told us all kinds of stories about how everything used to be at our old house, which was one of the only houses on the block when she grew up. She told us how her daddy used to sell rabbits that they raised, and how another guy down the street raised chickens in his basement during the Depression. She loved our roosters because they reminded her of how the neighborhood was when she was younger. Goodness, I love her. I'm more than a bit sad that we won't be able to travel and see "Miss Mary-Louise" when our house sells.

 

 

My grandmother died in November at 103. She taught sunday school every week until she turned 100. She lived at home until she died and even wore her high heels until three months before she died. she continued to do 30minutes of floor exercises until 102. To give you a sense of her age, her grandfather lived with them until she was 12 and he fought in the civil war!

 

My father is 73. He runs 10 miles per week. He has just published two books this year, and just stepped down as the head of the department. He plans to stay a full professor until he turns 80 at which point he will writ his magnus opus as he calls it. He is also on the board of a newly created medical school in Africa (where he is for the next two weeks) and is currently THE medical advisor for a very large province in China where he visits two times a year for a few weeks. Last month he carried 100liters of bark all at once up 110 steps to my yard, and he did not have a heart attack.

 

 

My great-grandfather was 95 (94?) when he died, and he was ornery and stubborn right until the end. He didn't have too many medical problems, but he was stubborn in other ways. He was still running one full business and a couple partial ones, plus traveling the world as a malacological expert right until the end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you know elderly with vibrant healthy lives? Can you tell me about them? I need a counter-point to today!

 

Our Aunt Bea was 87 when she passed and was sharp until the end with no health problem until she was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer.

Before she became ill, she walked to the store, the bus stop and just about anywhere else every day because she never held a driver's license. She ate veggies she grew in her own garden and read the newspaper every day. She had opinions on everything. :)

 

How did it go with your MIL today?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

It worked out but it was not an easy day. Her last blood sugar reading was in the 300's again. SIL is taking care of her tonight.

 

What a stressful situation, Jean. I'm glad today worked out OK, but with those crazy-high blood sugar readings, I'm surprised she's not in the hospital. I'm no expert, but those levels sound awfully dangerous to me. I would be afraid to have the responsibility for caring for her, for fear something terrible would happen on my watch.

 

You guys must be worried all the time -- and frustrated, as well. :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you know elderly with vibrant healthy lives? Can you tell me about them? I need a counter-point to today!

 

My choir is full of very elderly people - they are all able to stand up and sing in a concert for an hour at a time, as well as learning and appreciating the music.

 

Laura

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dad's 74 and will probably do a couple of marathons this year. My mom's 72 and taught herself to weld art about 10 years ago. She is never still. They both have diverse groups of friends, most of whom are younger.

 

They are hilarious and seem as surprised as I am that they are considered "senior citizens".

 

I know many musicians who have aged incredibly well- maybe the discipline/passion required helps (?). The composer John Williams came out and conducted our orchestra this year and was incredible. Amazingly quick minded, for any age, and gracious too. Not bad for the guy who wrote every boy's dream songs: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc.... He's 81 and did the soundtrack for Lincoln last year (Meh movie, good music).

 

The sassiest person in my small group Bible study is 86. She rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandmother died in November at 103. She taught sunday school every week until she turned 100. She lived at home until she died and even wore her high heels until three months before she died. she continued to do 30minutes of floor exercises until 102. To give you a sense of her age, her grandfather lived with them until she was 12 and he fought in the civil war!

 

 

Now that's my kind of lady! Don't think I won't be rocking my heels as long as possible!

 

My great aunt passed away this past Nov at 90. She lived on her own until she was about 83, when she moved in with my mom and step-dad due to some health issues. She was a hoot! She'd been married 4 times, worked as a bartender and blackjack dealer in Vegas until she was in her 60's and could play a mean game of cards. She had a group of friends she got together with 1-2 times a week to play cards (mostly poker) and drink (hard liquor). Until about 2 years ago, she was sharp as a tack.

 

My step-grandmother just turned 92. She lived on her own until she was 90, when she fell and hurt her hip. She still drove and led an active life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My MIL is my hero. She's 77 and in what I would consider excellent health for her age. Has a bit of arthritis, is on cholesterol and BP medicines. But she leads a busy, active life. She still works a little part time job and is forevermore meeting people for lunch or dinner. She volunteers at church, walks miles almost every day and is always doing something. Keeps a spotless house and does 99 percent of her own yard work during the summer (she has close to an acre). Sometimes she makes me tired!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandparents are both in their 80s. Live on their own with no help. My grandfather cooks and my grandmother cleans. They walk most days (although they have had to slow down on that some). My grandfather who has always been more social than my grandmother still plays bridge and is involved in the local pensioners society. He drags my grandmother along for outings. They both have some health problems but they are also more active than most :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandmother died at 93 and lived alone until 92 years of age. I think having something to do each day is what helped. Even is it is just bingo, reading, her "stories" on TV. Family and friends are super important at that time and a feeling of purpose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandmother is 90, lives alone in her own house, and drives her big car to get her hair and nails done. My mom drives her everywhere else. She's always in good spirits, even when she hurts. She's so kind and always asks after all of us, wanting details on how and what we're doing. In fact, I spoke to her on the phone last night and she wanted me to come visit. I always feel so guilty that I don't spend a lot of time with her. She lives about 75 - 90 minutes away. I have no excuse except laziness. I think I'll drive over tomorrow to sit with her for a couple of hours.

 

My mom is 70 and is taking after her mom. If my mom wasn't disabled with a bad leg, she'd be much more active. I don't see '70' when I look at my mom, she seems so much younger. I hope she's with me a good long time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My nana lived a beautiful, healthy life. She traveled the world, learned to ski in her 60's, had a winnebego that she traveled cross country in several times. She lived in California and everyone else was in New England so she'd either fly grandkids to Cali and drive them back or come pick us up in her camper and fly us back. She walked daily to the senior center where she learned spanish, played cards etc. She taught herself to play piano and accordian. She crocheted beautifully, she made quilts, she was the best penpal, she loved to read. Took severa bus trip to LasVegas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents! Dad is 80 and Mom is 73. They are very healthy, active and in great shape. They hike, ski and my dad still cycles (he tried out for the 1960 Olympics when it was truly for amateurs). They exercise every day and eat healthy. My dad worked until my mom was eligible for her full retirement benefits so they could retire together. They travel quite a bit, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandma (she will be 101 on Monday) lived on her own until she was 95. After my father passed away she didn't want to live alone anymore and finally agreed to move in with my aunt. She is definitely a lot slower then she used to be but her mind is still sharp as a tack.

 

Until her health started to decline she walked at least a mile every day if not more, visited friends, she lives life. She made my aunt take her to a st. patricks day celebration over the weekend because she wanted some corned beef.

 

My mom is in her 70's. She moved herself across country 5 years ago because she always wanted to live in Arizona. Up until last year when she injured her back she would go on one vacation adventure a year. She has been to China, Viet Nam, The Dominican Republic, Spain, etc.. She can't handle the long plane rides anymore and she is so thankful she went when she could. She lives on her own, volunteers at a local wildlife sanctuary, is involved with a local museum, and has a great group of friends she stays busy with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandparents are 89 and live a very active life. They just went on a 10 day cruise to the dominican republic for their 68th wedding anniversary last January and have made plans to travel a few places over the summer.

 

My grandfather regularly attends meetings of his civic clubs and my grandmother still volunteers for the "elderly" assisting with various things and with the WIC program doing office work and holding babies during their mom's appts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our df at church, Anne, is going to be 87 in a little while. She's sooo active and one of the kindest women I know. She's in great shape, tho right now she is battling a chest ailment. She can't hear much of anything, but reads lips and gets the gist, and is the least irritating person I know! (That's meant to be a compliment, as I have other elderly folks in my life that complain constantly but are really just reaping what they sowed.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We knew a man who got lost when he was snowskiing...he was 95yo at the time.

 

When we were in San Jose and members of a Gideon camp (the Gideons are those guys who put Bibles in hotel rooms), the vice president of the women's group was 93yo. She came to every meeting, every convention, went on Bible distributions (putting Bibles in doctors' offices) monthly, and more. And she lived alone, having outlived two husbands.

 

My favorite hula teacher is in her 80s.

 

Does that help? :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...