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I don't want to get old


Moxie
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Yes, I know that it is better than the alternative.

 

I was at Dollar Tree last night and a rough looking older man lost control of his bowels. I suppose he had no unders on because it was all over the floor.

 

I have friends with parents in nursing homes and they talk about "Mom had a great day. The Boy Scouts sang to them and they got to play checkers". What?!? Strange kids singing to me is not anyone's idea of a good time.

 

I see my in laws deal with health issues and constant pain. My MIL can't walk very far anymore. My FIL is loosing his vision and gets shots in his eyeball once a month. NOOO!!

 

I see people here talking about helping their elders with basic tasks and my brain screams NOOOO!! I do not want my daughter in charge of my clothing and meals!!!

 

Seriously, the idea that I'm already 40 keeps me up nights. Obviously, I can't stop getting older. How do I quit panicing about it??

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Not that it will take care of everything, but here's motivation to quit eating carp and to take care if ourselves. ðŸ˜

 

There's a lot to be said for winning the genetic lottery, but my mom is 79, she's had Type 1 diabetes for 55+ years now and only takes high blood preaaure meds, lives totally independently with my dad (goes to more of his doctor appointments than her own) and while some is genes, some is consistent lifetime exercise and always taking lots of supplements. Something worked!

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I'm answering this because I'm afraid of getting old, too (I already have health challenges in my forties that I can only imagine getting worse as I go) -- yet I'm more afraid of not getting old. I want to BE here for my children and grandchildren, even if I'm a mess. My real prayers are not for my body, but that I'll retain a sound mind, because if I can think I can deal.

 

When you're afraid to grow old, there are steps that you can take, to hedge your bets:

 

1. Take care of yourself. Keep moving - walk and stay limber - every day of your life. Keep your weight down. Get tested for stuff, when you're supposed to. Take your meds, if you need meds. Be social, be positive, don't dwell in the past, don't take stupid risks.

 

2. Build relationships with people who will really know you, really care about you, and stay with you for the long haul. Get somebody in your life who will remember that tuneless strange children singing at you for an hour will not cheer you up.

 

3. Work on achieving perspective - there are people, including children, who live with suffering every single day. They might not have the privilege of long life. They might know more about confusion, inconvenience, pain, and non-functioning bowels than you'll ever know, yet they, like you and everybody else, have a CHOICE: We can all face life with courage, if we want to.

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Me, too! I found that being at the gym regularly increased my fear of aging. There was a guy in my TRX class who had played sports all his life - he was probably in his mid-fifties (so not even "old") and yet his flexibility was horrible. There were so many things he couldn't do. I want to be strong and fast and fit for a very long time. Fear of getting old pushes me to stay fit. 

 

I think my Grandma has had a pretty nice old age. She had five kids and has tons of grandkids and most of them all live near her. She is visited every day by one of her kids and is visited often by grandkids and great grandkids. She's 94 now (I think) and she still plays the piano every day. Can you imagine that? She gets great joy out of music. 

 

She didn't want to move to a retirement home - I think she was near 90 when she finally did, but then she found out that some of her friends from elementary school were in the same home so she ended up really enjoying the companionship.

 

I plan to eat healthy, stay active, and enjoy my "young" life as long as I can. Hopefully when I'm old I'll be as lucky as my Grandma and will have my own interests to pursue and my family and friends to spend time with.

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I was just talking about this today.  I'm going through a rough patch that is probably (I think) due to hormonal changes.  I keep wondering what it's going to be like once I'm into the next stage.  I hope I'm like the older women who were in my hiking group at Machupicchu.  I hope I feel like climbing Mount Everest!  I hope I'm able to help with my grandkids.  I hope I'm around to know it when my kids realize I was right all those years, LOL.

 

I agree it's motivation to try to treat myself better.  I'm trying to walk more - it's a start.

 

Then the other thing I wonder - will my friends and siblings start dying around me - how will I deal with that ....

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I do what I can to keep healthy and mentally fit. I can't do anything about my genetics, but I can live a healthy life style to the best of my abilties - exercise, lots of sleep, healthy food, healthy weight. Can't do much besides that, so I don't worry about it.

I think that when I am of advanced age, I will become less risk averse while climbing and mountaineering. 

Edited by regentrude
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We live far away from family, so every time we get together with our parents, who are only in their mid-50s, we spend soooo long listening to them talk about who's getting which joint or tendon replaced, their recovery from such-and-such a surgery, which new meds they're on, all the funky things their bodies are doing. I do try to be a good listener and supportive of their health issues. It's very real, scary, and painful for them.

 

The women in my extended family pretty consistently report that age 40 is when their "face fell off," and everything started hurting. I'm 10 years away from that and doing my best to take care of myself. Aging is inevitable, but I might as well meet it with my best foot forward.

 

The women in my mom's family also seem long-lived...but in horrendous health for the last couple decades of it. I wonder how much is the genetic lottery and how much is just not knowing enough about self care. There's a lot of poorly-managed chronic disease in the extended family.

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My mom said when she was 75 "Make all your friends before you are 60!"  I could tell she was particularly peeved at the moment.  "Why?" I asked.  "Because after that all anyone talks about is their aches and pains and it is BORING."

 

She is 94 now and still has lively conversations with her life-friends (which are few in number, alas, by this time) but I am already starting to see what she was talking about.  So I have some other hints for those of you who don't want to get old.  (Many of you would think I have already entered that territory!)

 

1.  Be thankful.  Every single day.  It makes you a different person than if you are not thankful.

 

2.  Stop complaining.  I mean it.  It is boring, it is alienating, and it ages you.  Just stop it. 

 

3.  Stay as current as you can manage (within the bounds of being able to give a rip) about changes in technology in particular.  Part of the reason some people are lonely is that the world has changed and they didn't change with it.  Sorry, no matter how lovely it is, no one hand writes thank you notes anymore--and if you are one of the old people who didn't want to learn all that new-fangled email-shmeemail, well, don't blame everyone else for your being out of touch. Besides, you might find that it opens new worlds to you, to stay current.  Deafness is less an issue when you don't have to rely on the telephone.  Finding out about the monthly meet-up of people interested in birds *that meets just around the corner from you!* might change your life.

 

4.  Live into your season of life.  Make the most of the time you have where you are right this minute.  Make connections, make memories.  And that counts re: appearance too.  I'm not telling you to get out the orthopedic shoes.  But I will tell you what my then-8yo son said when he saw a 50+yo woman who was trying too hard to look 20.  "She'd be a really pretty 50 year old.  Really pretty.  But she's pretty terrible looking for a 20 year old."  Point taken, son.  (And lest you think he is a Mr. Judgy--he is not.  I have lost all my hair and can't really doll up anymore...but he still tells me I'm pretty and cute.)

 

5.  Don't worry about future seasons.  Like THAT does any good.  My mom (again) was one of the most energetic people, and efficient, and a getter of things done.  Now, she is 94, and she sits and thinks a lot.  And she LOVES it.  She would have hated thinking she would now be this way,  30 years ago.  It would have seemed like living death.  But she is nowhere near depressed, she's happy, she doesn't care anymore if she is useful or not.  She is just happy to BE.   Thing change as you get older.  Mom called one day for a chat and gave me all the news about everyone in town.  "You remember so and so?  He died.  You remember your x-grade teacher?  She died."  I blew up.  "Why do you keep telling me about everyone DYING?"  She said, simply, "It's the season of life we're in."  And it was.  But she was dealing with it, because it was that season.  (When she was 30, that would NOT have been deal-able.)

 

Anyway, that's my short list of advice, which I add to the preceding advice about eating right and taking care of your body.  I will also add, take care of your soul.  That's even harder to fix than your body, once it's gone 'round the bend.  

 

ETA: nothing.  I changed my mind.

 

 

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My mom keeps telling me "getting old sucks" and she says that nobody ever told her that so she wanted me to know.  Can you tell she's a pessimist?

 

My grandma said something similar, but she had a lot of health problems, and she DID meet them with humor, not with complaining...and she said she wanted to live a long time because she loved us.  

 

My mom says getting old is not for wimps.  But the same can be said for parenting.  :0)

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I hear you. I don't mind that my life is finite and someday I'll die- the Earth would be massively overcrowded and horrible if everyone lived forever- but being old will probably suck. I wish people could live in perfect health until ninety or so and then die peacefully in their sleep.

 

I'm hoping that over the next few decades, medicine and science will make so many advances that being elderly will become progressively less sucky.

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My father was tremendously active and engaged into his eighties -- and then, abruptly, his health deteriorated rapidly.  It is very very hard, and -- yes-- frightening, to witness.

 

A lot of great suggestions, to which I would add only one: seek out situations and organizations and activities that enable friendships across generations.  Several of my good friends in town are in their seventies, and others thirty-something.  I figure that'll help when everyone my age is dwelling on aches and pains and surgeries, lol.

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I'm answering this because I'm afraid of getting old, too (I already have health challenges in my forties that I can only imagine getting worse as I go) -- yet I'm more afraid of not getting old. I want to BE here for my children and grandchildren, even if I'm a mess. My real prayers are not for my body, but that I'll retain a sound mind, because if I can think I can deal.

 

When you're afraid to grow old, there are steps that you can take, to hedge your bets:

 

1. Take care of yourself. Keep moving - walk and stay limber - every day of your life. Keep your weight down. Get tested for stuff, when you're supposed to. Take your meds, if you need meds. Be social, be positive, don't dwell in the past, don't take stupid risks.

 

2. Build relationships with people who will really know you, really care about you, and stay with you for the long haul. Get somebody in your life who will remember that tuneless strange children singing at you for an hour will not cheer you up.

 

3. Work on achieving perspective - there are people, including children, who live with suffering every single day. They might not have the privilege of long life. They might know more about confusion, inconvenience, pain, and non-functioning bowels than you'll ever know, yet they, like you and everybody else, have a CHOICE: We can all face life with courage, if we want to.

This is beautiful. Especially #3.

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A lot of great suggestions, to which I would add only one: seek out situations and organizations and activities that enable friendships across generations.  Several of my good friends in town are in their seventies, and others thirty-something.  I figure that'll help when everyone my age is dwelling on aches and pains and surgeries, lol.

 

Very good advice. It's not just the dwelling on old age problems - for a person who is blessed with longevity, it will be very lonely when all her older or same age friends have died. My grandma's circle of friends were all older than her, and all died many years before her.

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I went to a bike race recently and the oldest racer was 93. Yup.

 

I'm super motivated by the people at my gym. My spinning classes are overwhelmingly taken by retirees and most of them could kick my *ss for sure. At most of my son's bike races there are easily several racers well into their seventies and beyond (obviously there are many age categories), and a couple of 90+ year old women walk an annual 5k we do.

 

I volunteer with a lot of retirees as well, and most of them stay physically and mentally active--many say more so now than when they were raising their families.

 

While of course the idea of being ancient and especially incapacitated terrifies me, I can't stand it when people tell me "Don't ever get old!". Seriously? Are you telling me I'm better off dying now?

 

(I do know that's not what the OP means, it's just a pet peeve of mine)

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I went to a bike race recently and the oldest racer was 93. Yup.

 

I'm super motivated by the people at my gym. My spinning classes are overwhelmingly taken by retirees and most of them could kick my *ss for sure. At most of my son's bike races there are easily several racers well into their seventies and beyond (obviously there are many age categories), and a couple of 90+ year old women walk an annual 5k we do.

 

I volunteer with a lot of retirees as well, and most of them stay physically and mentally active--many say more so now than when they were raising their families.

 

While of course the idea of being ancient and especially incapacitated terrifies me, I can't stand it when people tell me "Don't ever get old!". Seriously? Are you telling me I'm better off dying now?

 

(I do know that's not what the OP means, it's just a pet peeve of mine)

 

I would love to grow old like my grandmother - fit and alert until 93, ill for three days, die in own bed. If I can bike at 93, I'll be happy to be old.

 

I would hate to grow old with debilitating pain or dementia, and I hope I would be able to act before my quality of life declines. I'd much rather fall off a mountain than linger in a nursing home. 

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Yes, I know that it is better than the alternative.

 

Not all of us believe this FWIW.

 

I plan to only stick around while life is still decent - allowing some for age - but not debilitating by my own definition.

 

To perhaps extend things, I keep my mind as active as possible with "new" things including "mental" games like Lumosity (online).  We play games together.  I keep active outdoors - walking, hiking, gardening, chores.  We still travel (new experiences).  We try to eat (mostly) healthy.  We use seat belts and don't use cell phones while driving.  I keep track of basic things like blood numbers twice per year.  I hang out with the (mostly) younger generation online.  ;) 

 

But there will come a time...  I could be 50 (next year) or 100.  Who knows?  My Grandmother lived to be 91 before things got bad (died at 94).  I'll take 91 thank you very much.  If not that, then 50 (or some other number) is fine.  I do not fear death.  I really do not want to live without "living."

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I don't fear growing old if I'm still fairly healthy and independent.  If I'm not, I don't feel like I need to be there for my children or grandchildren anymore.  I'd rather they just live their lives and not worry about me.  I think when I feel myself getting to that point, I'll start taking riskier vacations.  

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My parents are in their early 70s and look and act like they are in their 40s/50s.  My inlaws are the exact same age but look 10 years older and act 25 years older.

 

My parents go to the gym daily.  They eat right.  They go out, they have lots of friends, they do lots of fun things.  I swear that the only time they sit is to go to the bathroom or watch the nightly news.  My mom keeps telling me that your 40s are the time to make sure you are really exercising, moving, eating right, etc.  I think she may be on to something.

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At 40 you are still a "baby" in millions of people's eyes.  :p  Don't panic just yet.  I play tennis with ladies who are in their 40s, 50s, 60, and 70s. The ladies seem to stop then, but my dh plays with the older gentlemen in their 80s and 90s. 

 

Try hanging out with active people 5 - 10 years+ older than yourself, and you'll quickly see that you still have loads of time before you'll lose all control.  :laugh:   I'm 50, and am looking forward to at least 20 more years of tennis. That's plenty of time to improve my game!

 

 

And yes, the key is to get and stay active, eat moderately and enjoy life as much as you can at every season in your life. 

Edited by wintermom
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I agree with staying active. Volunteer work as well seems to really help people stay young.

 

My FIL looked 65 at 45 when DH and I got married. He never even walked as far as the mailbox or did any exercise. He worked, went out to eat, and watched TV. He passed away 4 years ago at 67 from renal failure.

 

My DH is now 51 and plays basketball, bikes, goes out on the waverunners, etc. He looks far younger than most of his friends from highschool.

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We have some very healthy older people in my family and some who are decades younger who seem much older. I think the difference is activity level. I look at my dad who has exercised vigorously almost daily his whole life. He's had some health issues like needing knee replacements and other minor things, but dang he looks good. I probably couldn't keep up with him. He really enjoys his retirement and his free time. Then there's others who can barely walk up the stairs in their houses. They've avoided exercise their whole lives and now we can't really enjoy spending time with them because literally all they feel comfortable doing is sitting on a recliner and watching tv. We can't go to museums with them, can't go to the park, can't go anywhere fun because they can't handle the walking.

 

I know some people do everything right and still get a bad deal in their old age, but for most people maintaining activity levels and even increasing activity will pay off. I hate exercising but I look at my future in the older generations of my family and it motivates me to keep working. 

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I plan to only stick around while life is still decent - allowing some for age - but not debilitating by my own definition.

 

 

 

I too fear growing old, yet I am noticing the effects of being 50 and dealing with that and long-term effects of radiation tx. I'm still grasping with how far medically I'm willing to go to extend my life in case of deterioration of well-being in my elderly years. 

 

My mom is 80 and in some ways healthier than me, she has been physically active all of her life and tries to embrace the season of her life. My dad died at 79 and I watched him go from old to elderly in a period of six months. So I'm under no illusion my mom couldn't do the same thing, yet she has always been more healthy than him, genetics and lifestyle wise. She hasn't reached out to make new friends since we moved because she doesn't want to hear about everybody being sick if she tries to join older adult groups. 

 

Watching my dad progress through his last few years changed my perspective on how long I truly want to live. He had colon surgery and there was a period of almost a year when he couldn't leave the house for longer than a few hours. He managed, but it affected his well-being and he got the point where he said no more. No more surgeries, no more life saving techniques. He was ready to go. He finally got to the point where he could leave the house and one last thing he medically was some follow up care on his eyes (he had some genetic eyes issues that had required corneal transplants over the years). He was on his way home from that appointment when he died. He pulled the car over about two blocks from home and told my mom he couldn't drive anymore. We don't know for sure, but he was probably gone before the ambulance left. 

 

As tearful as that evening was, we all are sort of grateful that he died before things got worse. He had the beginnings of Alzheimers and was upset about forgetting things. He was able to live at home and with my mom's minor help, care for himself to the end. 

 

The reality is that I have no one who would care for me into my elder years. I'm really not keen on living in a nursing home, although I gather most residents aren't either. I do not want my son to forgo his life to care for me if I'm not even in a condition to need full-time care. 

 

Do I worry daily about this? No, yet I have discussed this with my mom and my son. 

 

Meanwhile, I try to have patience with older people (older to me being 75+). I have crappy knees and hurt my ankle earlier this year, I know what it's like to move slowly and have no choice in the matter. So I don't get exasperated around old people. I try to pay attention if I'm walking into a store if an older person has a cart I could take when their done. I talk to old people like their not old. My dad used to hate being asked every stinkin' time he was in hospital if he dressed himself or bathed himself.  

 

Life is finite. If you want to live forever, write a book. (not to sound harsh, kind of talking to myself too). 

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I too fear growing old, yet I am noticing the effects of being 50 and dealing with that and long-term effects of radiation tx. I'm still grasping with how far medically I'm willing to go to extend my life in case of deterioration of well-being in my elderly years. 

...

 

Watching my dad progress through his last few years changed my perspective on how long I truly want to live.  

 

Watching my grandmother and others in the nursing home with her changed mine.  Then add in MIL with her advanced Alzheimers.

 

We aren't that cruel to our furry loved ones (usually).

 

There are old age things that one gets used to.  Then there are other things one shouldn't have to get used to if they don't want to.  My grandmother begged to die for a couple of years. Her health was never going to improve.  Doctors originally told us she would only live a few months after being put into the nursing home. She lived about 3 years.  It was so sad seeing her be forced to live on due to other people's moral feelings.  Everyone agreed it was a relief when she finally passed away, but to me it was absolute cruelty making her exist until the end when she didn't want to.

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At 40 you are still a "baby" in millions of people's eyes.  :p  Don't panic just yet.  I play tennis with ladies who are in their 40s, 50s, 60, and 70s. The ladies seem to stop then, but my dh plays with the older gentlemen in their 80s and 90s. 

 

Try hanging out with active people 5 - 10 years+ older than yourself, and you'll quickly see that you still have loads of time before you'll lose all control.  :laugh:   I'm 50, and am looking forward to at least 20 more years of tennis. That's plenty of time to improve my game!

 

 

And yes, the key is to get and stay active, eat moderately and enjoy life as much as you can at every season in your life. 

 

My mom won the trip-city tennis championship when she was 45, 46, 47 years old.  She beat the state high school champ.  She won doubles all those years, but when she was 48 and 49 years old.  The year she was 50, she swam 50 miles (a mile a day).  (Boy Scouts can get an award for doing a mile.  Period.  My son got that award every year.)

 

She was 70 pounds overweight at the time. She lost that weight for good right around when she turned 70 by walking 4 miles a day rain or shine or snow, at a 4mph pace, and by eating sensibly.  Not "I would rather die" dieting.  Just portion control.  

 

She walked the Bolder Boulder 10K for something like 20 years, the last year when she was 80.  She and my dad beat my son (age 6) and me (age 44).  Well, We2 *did* stop for a Slurpee.  

 

My dad played volleyball until he was in his mid-70s.  He broke his collar bone sliding into first base when he was 75 on the Senior Softball Team.  My friends used to go watch him play because he was a hoot.  

 

They were in a bridge group of close friends for more than 50 years--only three of the original 12 are left.  But friendship does a lot to make you happy as you get older especially...people who have your past and who have your back.  They both read, they went to church, they served the needy.  

 

I think the key is to keep moving, keep growing, don't fear change in yourself or in others or in your circumstances.  Someone once told me "If you aren't moving when you're 50, you won't be moving when you're 70."  I think that holds true in other areas, too.  

 

Dad got diabetes late in life, and that caused him to fail more quickly than he expected.  He died at 90.5.  Mom's 94 and to tell the truth, she is a little faded.  BUT she is not depressed and she has lived and continues to live a good and fun and full life, both in body and soul.  And I'm going to see her in a month.  :0)

 

My dh's dad fell victim to dementia, but he was happy, and my dh was so thankful that even though his dad had changed, he still got to be with him.  Dh's parents moved near us shortly after the dementia started being obvious...so that was pretty much all dh got of his dad since high school...and he would not trade it for anything.  It was a great gift to him and to our family.  His mother is 92 and is requiring more care, but she is tough and cheerful and she doesn't gripe about things but meets them as they come.  It has been in caring for her that my dh has finally had time to get to know his mother and love her even more.  I am not sure that old age is not a gift.  It just comes in a good disguise.

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I don't want to be old either, and I'm 40.  I don't fear death.  I don't wish for it yet, because that would leave my husband and children without me, but for myself?  Death will be a privilege and joy, just as life here is a privilege and joy.

 

My grandmother died suddenly at about 87.  She was still mostly sharp and was living in her own home with my grandfather.  Not an assisted living facility or nursing home, but a real (and very nice) condo apartment they got when they retired in 1990 (and took up tennis).  That seems like the way to go to me.  My DH's grandmother died recently, at over 100, and that doesn't sound like much fun to me, being so dependent on everyone around you.  She was still pretty sharp as well, but she'd buried her husband and one of her two children in the past twenty years, and many friends, and while my MIL and FIL took good care of her when she was in the nursing home and visited often, it still sounds lonely.

 

Of course, if I don't have many visitors, maybe I'll get to all the hobbies I didn't have time for while I was younger.  All the knitting projects, and if my hands don't work, I can read all the books and learn all the languages I ever wanted to know!

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I don't fear getting old.  Since I am 50 that is probably a good thing.  I do fear losing my health and mental acuity.  My grandma is 105 and sharp as a tack.  Her body is slowing down.  At 98 she had to start using a walker.  She says the secret is good genes and my aunt who takes care of her.  I think it is better when you are able to live with family then be in a senior home.I am sure there is more I could be doing for my physical health and everyday I strive to make better choices.

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My mother did not want to get old.  She got her wish and died fairly quickly after being diagnosed with cancer (she died at 49). 

 

But no really, this is something she went on and on about (getting old).  She wouldn't let us acknowledge her birthday when she turned 40 because she was so devastated.  I never really understood that.  I'm 42 now and I don't feel old and don't dwell on the fact I'm not getting younger.

 

 

 

 

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I am with you on this. I had four family members go in to homes this past year, one is only 22/3 years older than me and that one actually went in a few years ago. The other three have gone in from Dec-May time frame. They are not pleasant at all. Genetically, I am screwed. For a while there, the one grandparent, who I thought I loved and loved me, has been such a horrible person toward me over the last few years that now I wonder if everything we ever had was fake. PLUS, in her case, almost all her friends have died so she did not mind moving to the home. Everyone else is gone pretty much now as far as her friends go. She was always so social. The other two were always cranky and rude and not people I wanted to be around, but, now they are worse. 

 

But realizing how young the family members are as they go down where they cannot function anymore, it is scary!!! If I go down as soon as the one family member, I have less than 15 yrs left. (and I have a 2 yr old!). 

 

To top it off, I opened the obituaries today. Yeah, well...seems like on the front page today, there were a few younger than me. Then several born within the last year years before me, and just a small handful of people older than that. I was shocked! I plan to show this to my husband when he wakes up and point out of dire our need to get our acts together, exercise, diet, etc, is.

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My mom is not doing well at 86.  She has talked about dying since she turned 40.  It is exhausting.  I am trying to do better.

 

Sounds like my grandmother.  She is 90.  She has said since her late thirties stuff like don't get old, I feel old, I'm too old for that....  She stopped doing most of her hobbies in her 40s (like knitting and sewing) because she said she was too old.  I'm amazed she made it this far.  Geesh  And her health is not bad.

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I have recently begun taking my health and aging very seriously. Between my own health scare and my son's chronic serious health conditions I am highly motivated.

 

I recently read How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger and it has changed my life. I also have been doing yoga every day since January 1st. I am also walking and/or running daily. I am determined to do everything I can to be healthy in my old age.

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I plan to show this to my husband when he wakes up and point out of dire our need to get our acts together, exercise, diet, etc, is.

 

The good thing is it's never to late to change or improve habits to make a difference from your current point.  We do not need to keep doing the same old, same old just because it's how we were raised.  I've discovered many foods and activities I enjoy by being willing to try new things.  Sometimes I wonder how I ever ate my old diet - but it was what I was brought up on.

 

My kids had a more varied diet from their beginning - and love that fact.  They don't have to "get over" or "change" habits - and still enjoy exploring yet more options when they come across them.  They can (and sometimes do) enjoy junk food, but they aren't hooked on boxed mac & cheese or die.  They definitely appreciate real foods over substitute options.  We didn't go down the path of having them order from the kids menu at many restaurants.  We asked (and usually got) places to make "kid portions" of regular meals.  This was at my kids' request BTW.  They didn't want chicken nuggets or similar.

 

Even now out on their own my kids all enjoy going out for hikes or walks too.  They missed getting introduced to being couch potatoes.

 

Go ahead.  Make some changes - perhaps slowly at first if necessary and you don't need to cut out ALL the bad stuff (we still enjoy movie theater popcorn on occasion, but treats are rare rather than daily).  Your body will likely thank you for it.

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At 40 you are still a "baby" in millions of people's eyes.  :p  Don't panic just yet.  I play tennis with ladies who are in their 40s, 50s, 60, and 70s. The ladies seem to stop then, but my dh plays with the older gentlemen in their 80s and 90s. 

 

Try hanging out with active people 5 - 10 years+ older than yourself, and you'll quickly see that you still have loads of time before you'll lose all control.  :laugh:   I'm 50, and am looking forward to at least 20 more years of tennis. That's plenty of time to improve my game!

 

 

And yes, the key is to get and stay active, eat moderately and enjoy life as much as you can at every season in your life. 

 

I think this is true.  Dh is 13 years older than me.  He had his 40th class reunion a few years ago and we've gotten together with some of his friends from high school each year since then.  Obviously some of them are not in great health, but enough of them are that it seems less scary.  In many ways, dh is healthier than I am.  He's not in great shape but he is still strong and we are both working on eating healthier and exercising more.  We just came back from camping and he was able to chop wood, lift heavy stuff, haul me back into a raft.  At home he's been hauling rocks to clear a garden.  Seeing him doing well is encouraging.

 

 

I am 42 and have a toddler. He won't allow me to sit down and vegetate. Both grandmothers and my parents had children in their late thirties, and I think the needs of young children help keep you going.

 

I think this is also true.  It's not like you can just sit and veg out all the time when you have children at home.  Although, I'm finding that their needs - for school, for activity, for exercise - are sometimes my excuse for not doing activity myself.  I have to start prioritizing getting exercise and plan to sharply curtail my school plans for the summer in favor of building a habit of hiking, yoga, and activity for all of us.

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I am 42 and have a toddler. He won't allow me to sit down and vegetate. Both grandmothers and my parents had children in their late thirties, and I think the needs of young children help keep you going.

 

I turned 42 two months after ds was born. I know exactly what you're going through. :)

 

At 40 you are still a "baby" in millions of people's eyes.  :p  

 

Two of those eyes are mine. :D

 

There's some really good advice in this thread. I'd also recommend the book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.  If you're lucky you will be old someday. It's important to plan for that someday. That book offers a lot to think about. It's also a great one to read if you have aging parents.

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The good thing is it's never to late to change or improve habits to make a difference from your current point.  We do not need to keep doing the same old, same old just because it's how we were raised.  I've discovered many foods and activities I enjoy by being willing to try new things.  Sometimes I wonder how I ever ate my old diet - but it was what I was brought up on.

 

snip

 

 

Right.  In a fit of nostalgia mixed with curiosity, I tried some Spam awhile back.  Ewww.  Bologna.  Ewwww.  Pressed lunch meats.  Ewwww.  

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Right.  In a fit of nostalgia mixed with curiosity, I tried some Spam awhile back.  Ewww.  Bologna.  Ewwww.  Pressed lunch meats.  Ewwww.  

 

I still love those, esp Spam.  ;)  We just rarely eat them (pressed lunch meats only at other places to be polite).  

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Idk. For me it seems not about getting old.

 

I don't want to live without my husband. I would if I had to obviously, but it's an unfathomable thing to me to suddenly wake up some morning and discover this person I have never gone more than 12 hours without a text, a call, a touch will never ever with me again.

 

I don't want to be alone and forgotten. I should hope with 11 kids at least one of them will visit regularly, call, be actively in my life and want me actively in theirs. But yeah, nursing homes are full of old people who really do find a bunch of stranger kids singing to them the highlight of their month for a reason.

 

I want to continue to have purpose and use. It doesn't have to be anything amazing and awesome. Rocking babies at the hospital, making knit or crochet whatever for charity, wedding a small garden, going to mass.

 

Those things make up for a lot of the hardships of old age and declining health.

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It's all about attitude. DH is disabled and battles chronic pain. He had to retire early.

 

Yes, it's been very, very tough at times, but he's basically a very positive person and enjoys life as it is. There's still a lot he can do and enjoy despite his limitations.

 

I'm still working and enjoy what I do, but I hope to be the way he is now when I retire.

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I have mixed feelings about getting older.  My experience is so different from my best friend's.  Her parents have been ill for decades from tragic health problems and watching her care for them is difficult.  I can't even imagine what its like for her.  On the other hand, my parents have had a very healthy and vibrant retirement.  

 

I definitely do not want my children to ever have to suffering from caring from me if I become very ill or disabled.   It has been so so difficult for my bf and I often wonder if her parents ever think about that.  It has just about sucked away any joy or sense of freedom that I wish for her.  

 

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Not that it will take care of everything, but here's motivation to quit eating carp and to take care if ourselves. ðŸ˜

 

There's a lot to be said for winning the genetic lottery, but my mom is 79, she's had Type 1 diabetes for 55+ years now and only takes high blood preaaure meds, lives totally independently with my dad (goes to more of his doctor appointments than her own) and while some is genes, some is consistent lifetime exercise and always taking lots of supplements. Something worked!

Yeah, there is that whole genetic lottery thing that keeps me up at night. When I was younger, I would sy to myself, just take good care of yourself, eat right, exercise and you'll be one of those spry 80 year olds instead of needing walker at 70.

Well, I've done all that and my body is still breaking down. I'm in my 50s and my knees are shot despite working very hard to keep them functional. My ankle still hurts from my surgery 15 months go. And hormonal garbage is causing significant weight gain despite my efforts through a healthy diet and slogging through pain to get exercise. Oh and the lung scarring from bronchitis from the swine flu means that my aerobic capacity has significantly reduce (as I experienced while hiking last weekend - hikes that I trained for.) Every time I hear someone smugly tell me that they stay fit through exercise and diet and I should do what they do, I mutter "genetic lottery" to myself.

 

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Sounds like my grandmother.  She is 90.  She has said since her late thirties stuff like don't get old, I feel old, I'm too old for that....  She stopped doing most of her hobbies in her 40s (like knitting and sewing) because she said she was too old.  I'm amazed she made it this far.  Geesh  And her health is not bad.

 

Not to pick on your grandmother, but this seems to be something many people go through. They have this mindset of what age is "old" and what limitations this age means. They lack perspective on what they actually can do, for some reason. 

 

When I read Michael J Fox's biography, he talked about his decision about quitting acting due to his progressing Parkinson's. When he initially quit he thought his condition was bad enough that he just wasn't capable of working any more, a few years later he realized that he should have kept going. Years later it was definitely too late. He didn't have the perspective to realize just how capable he was, and just how bad things would get. He felt that he missed out on some years of potential activity.

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My parents are both 89, and do quite well.  They live in their own home still, still host gatherings, and still deliver Meals on Wheels to the elderly!  My dad just joined a gym last year.  I think three things have kept them especially young...  

 

My dad can't sit still.  He honestly cannot sit still longer than 30 minutes max, and then he needs to get up and do something.  He's always been that way.  He plans at least one event outside of the home each each day.  He loves tinkering in the yard.  (He still mows his own yard, and shovels snow.)

 

They're there for each other.  There are definitely things one of them can't do anymore, but then the other steps in.  There have been times when one of them was very sick and probably wouldn't have been able to recover well enough to live independently again, if it hadn't been for the other pushing them and doing everything they could to help them and encourage them.

 

They're there for us, and their grandkids especially right now.  They still feel needed.  My (college-aged) dd is living with them right now and I know they care for her like a parent would.  My dad drives her places, my mother cooks dinner for all of them, etc.

 

But they've been very lucky with their health, and of course that's a giant part of the equation.

 

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Yeah, there is that whole genetic lottery thing that keeps me up at night. When I was younger, I would sy to myself, just take good care of yourself, eat right, exercise and you'll be one of those spry 80 year olds instead of needing walker at 70.

Well, I've done all that and my body is still breaking down. I'm in my 50s and my knees are shot despite working very hard to keep them functional. My ankle still hurts from my surgery 15 months go. And hormonal garbage is causing significant weight gain despite my efforts through a healthy diet and slogging through pain to get exercise. Oh and the lung scarring from bronchitis from the swine flu means that my aerobic capacity has significantly reduce (as I experienced while hiking last weekend - hikes that I trained for.) Every time I hear someone smugly tell me that they stay fit through exercise and diet and I should do what they do, I mutter "genetic lottery" to myself.

 

Ditto

 

But I also believe it's worth trying.

 

Alzheimers, Cancer, and plenty of other things hit through the lottery more than they do any particular lifestyle as far as I can tell.  Even in the Blue Zones, not everyone lives to be 100 nice and spry.  More people do, but not the majority. Even those who do have often buried some of their kids.

 

Too many people look at diet and exercise akin to the Prosperity Gospel and then wonder what went wrong when something hits.  Nothing (controllable) went wrong.  Genetics rules many times.

 

There's just enough of a difference to be worth trying to tweak the odds IMO.

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