What is it like to get old?

By RosalieM Latest Reply 2015-02-19 15:28:13 -0600
Started 2015-02-18 18:03:33 -0600

What is it like to get old? I am not sure. I had an appointment with a doctor I had only seen once 3 years ago, before I had my spine fused, not for my diabetes. After studying my medical record and examining me he said "your know you are healthier than most people your age. I said I have had diabetes for 20 plus years and I decided 50 years ago to experiment to see how healthy I could be in my old age. I studied everything I could get my hands on and did it. and it worked.That was the end of my conversation with that doctor. Now my goal is reached, I am old pushing 77. I am in perfect health, my body feels like about 40 years old instead of 77.
What I didn't for see is how people expect you to be when there is no denying you are old. They
expect you cannot learn anything new (scientists believe this) That you can't remember a lot of things. That you can't sit up without help. I have had to rearrange my plans to do what I wanted because of peoples attitudes toward ageing. No, I don't need sympathy, as I am pretty flex able
and am happily working on my plan B. However if one more persons suggests I play bingo at the senior center, I will do something naughty to them.
I write posts that require me to think and gather information, write it in ways that make sense. This is protective of the brain. Responding to what others say is especially helpful in this regard. Oh yes, you are supposed to have a degree of dementia too and old people are set in their ways.
It is fun to see doctors reactions too me as I don't fit their mold for old people. The office assistant always says, you don't take any drugs! I guess you got to get your kicks wherever you can.
People at the YMCA are always asking me how old I am. My regular doctor challenged me. He said when I was 75, let see if you can be this healthy at 80. I love a challenge. How about 90.
I ask him how his diet was as I wanted to know if he would be working when I was 90. He is about 48 or so years old I would guess.

24 replies

tabby9146 2015-02-19 14:58:26 -0600 Report

I feel the same way, I am nearing 50 and I do not feel anywhere near it. I don't feel I act it. I am determined to keep my mind younger and my body too. Exercise has helped me tremendously. People are always saying I don't look near my age and complimenting me whenever that subject comes up;.. Good for you! I like what you said. I think when people are determined not to "feel" old and not let age get to them, then it does not, with the right positive attitude as well as the diet and exercise, goes a long way!

Type1Lou 2015-02-19 14:22:42 -0600 Report

You know Rosalie, I don't think of myself as old until I get a look at the old lady in the mirror. I think, in spirit, I am still young. I see "younger" people than I, who in fact look and act older. I had good role models in my parents who also stayed very young at heart (Dad died at 81 and Mom was several days shy of 98 .) Yes, I am active and involved in the community and passionate about my interests and eating a sensible and healthy diet. To me, being young is a "state of mind"…and I have been fortunate that my body generally has not sabotaged my state of mind.

RebDee 2015-02-19 05:16:04 -0600 Report

Have you ever taken one of those tests that are supposed to give you your health age? I am chronologically 72 but on that test, I register 50. So keep doing what you are doing. You know how to do it and why you are doing it. Write out everything so that in case you get some degree of senility, whoever is taking care of you will know what to do OR viceversa, they will avoid all that you say because your mind already went so now you can do whatever you want to catch up to your brain. But for you, because you have done everything possible, I'm betting you get no senility and are stuck on your Diabetic regiment for the rest of your very long life. My main advice for you is be happy, enjoy life along the way, try new things, have fun.

RosalieM 2015-02-19 05:32:16 -0600 Report

Thanks Reb De
Yes I have had one of those tests many years ago when I as much younger don't remember the result.
I actually feel younger not than I did 20 years ago. I do have everything written out as you say. I wonder if I out live those who signed it for me, is it still valid?
My diabetic diet is not a burden to me any more. It was at first, but it became a habit. If I am suddenly cured of diabetes, I would keep the diet as if feel so well and my weight stays down.

lilleyheidi 2015-02-19 00:38:48 -0600 Report

My Grammy used to take care of old people when she was in her 70;s, they were in their 60's LOL. She found her own breast cancer at age 82. Your whatever age you feel sometimes I believe. For myself for many years I felt much much older than my years, because I didn't take care of my body, i've just begun in 2014 taking care of myself and starting to feel closer to my age. I'm glad you feel so young and healthy.

RosalieM 2015-02-19 05:38:42 -0600 Report

Even though you just started taking care of your body, you can reverse a lot of the ageing effects. Sorry, the wrinkles
stay. Losing weight increases the wrinkles on the face. However you can make up for the wrinkles with how good you feel.
Bright eyes and a happy disposition (results of feeling really good all the time) make the wrinkles not the first thing people notice.
They notice how young the rest of your body looks and how easily you move. They ask you how old you are.

tabby9146 2015-02-19 15:01:33 -0600 Report

so true and wearing the appropriate makeup for one's age and not using too much , less is more, with makeup as we get past 40 or so. I truly believe that and using "serums" especially around the eyes and sunscreen. I am so glad I used sunscreen starting more around age 20 and not "laying out" in the sun anymore around that same age, it has paid off over 2 decades later. what we eat really does show up in our complexion too, lots of veggies and fruit actually do help, I have seen that.

HollyhockGarden 2015-02-18 23:52:43 -0600 Report

Hi Rosalie — Greetings from Arizona! I enjoyed reading your post about feeling young. Good for you! It sounds like you have one of the most important traits that is necessary to carry on through life a little easier: a sense of humor!!!

RosalieM 2015-02-19 05:49:19 -0600 Report

Hi Hollyhock,
My favorite flower. I suspect we all have the trait that is necessary to carry us through life, we just have to realize that is a potential we have and find it.
I have had diabetes for over 20 years, I have heart disease in my family along with dementia at a young age. I don't have longevity genes either
If my spine holds out, I am keeping on. I have stenosis and a curved spine.
I have had one spinal fusion and am looking at one more before I get too old. I don't have pain because I keep my back muscles strong which
holds up my curved spine pretty well. Lap swimming is magic for the spine along with weight machines

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-02-18 20:36:07 -0600 Report

Hi Rosalie
You go girl. My Mom lived to be 88 and finally her heart gave out.
She used to tell me your only as old as you feel. I'm 63 now but feel 45. I know people my age that act 80. Your a very intelligent, vibrant
woman. Keep up with whatever your doing. Its working for you.
Hugs, VL

tabby9146 2015-02-19 15:05:59 -0600 Report

My mom was an older mom when I was growing up she is 87, most of my friends that are my age have grandparent's her age and it bothered me when I was young but has not in a really long time. She did not exercise hardly at all, as I recall growing up, and so I remember very well how sedentary she was in her later 40s, 50s, and beyond and she is in a wheel chair and has been for several years. She started out on a walker in her 70s and while some things contributed to that, I am convinced that the lack of exercise did as well. I have others in my husband's side of the family that were much more active and they are getting around much better. Plus she smoked for 50 years and while she gave that up many years ago, she unfortunately has COPD and congestive heart failure, which makes me very sad. She gave up all the leg exercises and arm exercises she used to do, after she fell and broke a hip 7 years ago. She did them for only a few months after getting our of rehab. and that was it. I never could convince her to continue them. unfortunately she fell again, when my brother was pushing her wheel chair slowly across some grass, it was not a hard fall, but she broke her leg. She was in a cast for over 8 weeks. it was healing slowly and still has not healed 100%. she is in a boot now. I am praying and hoping she will at least get back to how she was.

RosalieM 2015-02-19 05:57:29 -0600 Report

Hi Valentine Lady
Thank You, She is right you are only as old as you feel. I will add one more, your appear as old as you move. If you can move easily, bend easily
have stamina. that makes you appear young. That comes from a good diet and exercise. It is never to late to start. Much of the body stuff is reversible. I swim laps next to a guy who swims 3/4 of a mile three times a week. He is 86 years old and has two replaced knees. He always has jokes to tell me. My joints only hurt if I become sedentary for a while
as long as I move enough I have no pain.

tabby9146 2015-02-19 15:09:39 -0600 Report

like I said in earlier post, my mom is 87 now and never exercised. We had a pool when I was growing up, but she never really swam well or made an effort to , she kind of did laps but hard to explain, not really putting hardly any strength and effort into it and did not do them often enough. she was very sedentary, owned a business with my dad, so she sat in an office all day too. I am glad I grew up playing some sports and in a generation that played outside so much. This generation now is so sedentary and I worry for them. they are not getting outside enough and getting exercise. they are on cell phones and internet all the time. They will unfortunately see the results of that much later on. I am trying so hard to keep my daughter active, my son always was, despite the games and cell phones. great that you exercise so much and that man that you know, I love to hear those stories. it inspires me. I am very flexible and limber and I do lots of flexibility exercises every single day along with my cardio. Yoga is so great for everyone. you don't have to be flexible to do yoga, it will make you much more that way, the more you do it and practice.

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-02-18 18:48:18 -0600 Report

Brings to mind what my Grandmother use to say…people started suggesting she visit the senior center when she was about 80…she would say "I don't want to go there…Old people go there"…love my Nanny!!!…AND I am 46 and I love Bingo…stop hating on the bingo!!!…hee hee

RosalieM 2015-02-19 06:06:35 -0600 Report

Hi Jibber,
It is not the bingo I hate it is what it does to the people at the senior center.
My sister went to a bingo game at the senior center and the women playing bingo had to sit in a certain chair or they got mad. Everything had to be exactly the same each time they played and tiny deviation from their usual
routine was met with their wrath. Gossip! Your mothers saying "if you can say something good about someone don't say anything" was lacking for sure. My saying is "if you can't say it to my face, don't say it." I hate gossip.

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-02-19 14:52:27 -0600 Report

Thank you for telling me my mother's advice was lacking…I will be sure to call her this evening and let her know…she will laugh.which is the point of me telling her…I like to hear my mom laugh…

haoleboy 2015-02-18 18:40:27 -0600 Report

some days … and today's is one of those days … I feel much, much older than my 60 years.

RosalieM 2015-02-19 06:14:11 -0600 Report

Tomorrow is another day. You can feel younger again if you know it is possible. The knowing it is possible is the key I think. My oldest son is 55 years old. He lived with me for a short time. He started walking around like an old man as he hated getting old. As he observed me and how I could move, he kind of changed his attitude and got a spring in his step. I suspect he did it because he came to feel he could. What guy wants to look older than his mother, 20 years his senior.

haoleboy 2015-02-19 11:02:40 -0600 Report

For some, like me, it is not just about attitude. NO ONE has a more positive outlook than I. Sometimes, to borrow from Matthew, it truly is a case of 'tthe spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak'. Two years ago I was wheelchair bound with an arm that didn't respond. I've come a long way, but recovery is not a straight line, rather it is a very long journey with many peaks and valleys … and some days … and today's is NOT one of those days … I feel much, much older than my 60 years.


Pegsy 2015-02-18 18:20:50 -0600 Report

I'm glad you don't feel your age, Rosalie! I am 55 but I feel as young and active as my 30 year old daughter. I workout with ladies in their 70's and 80's. I want to be like them when I am that age. I am with you, about Bingo. N.E.V.E.R. I enjoy living a healthy, active lifestyle. I enjoy learning something new every day. I will do that till my dying day. Whenever that may be. Three of my four grandparents lived into their 80's and their lifestyles were not at all what I would describe as healthy. I hope to surpass them not only in years, but it quality of life. We'll see.

tabby9146 2015-02-19 15:28:13 -0600 Report

I want to live past my 80s and be healthy too and I am trying and have been for years on the right track, and diabetes helped me to get there. that diagnosis really was making me take better care of myself. I want to be like those you describe too. I know very few around me at that age, that are exercising on any regular basis at all. my mother in law is nearly 70 and she was sedentary her whole life. she was for years and still is on high blood pressure and high cholesterol medicines, and while I realize some very fit and active people can also need to be on those medications, many can come off of them if they try hard enough and I don't know if she would be on them or not if the opposite was true of her life style. She looks and acts much younger than she is ,just the exercise part was never there. unfortunately now she has dementia, and I am glad it has not become worse the last few years. I want to keep my mind active too and I plan to continue college courses and keep studying things I am interested in ,they say even crossword puzzles regularly can help. I love going to that new site for your brain, called lumosity. I love playing those games. they are really good keeping your brain healthy.

RosalieM 2015-02-19 06:18:46 -0600 Report

Hi Pegsy,
You have the right attitude. The experts are wrong you can learn new things your whole life, however we have to keep our brains active by adding new information and using our thinking skills. Experts think that, because
that happens to people. It happens to people because they believe the experts. Which came first the chicken or egg?

RebDee 2015-02-19 05:21:40 -0600 Report

I don't like bingl. I prefer mind games such as anagrams, Scrabble, crossword puzzles. Any game that makes you think. My grandmother and mother died at 94 and I strive to beat them by at least a year. If I stay active, committed to my Diabetes diet, helpful to others, hopeful for myself, and enjoy life, I think that I will make my goal.

RosalieM 2015-02-19 06:21:25 -0600 Report

Hi RebDee,
I like mind games too. I like to debate. I will debate anything I know something about. Sometimes I am wrong, but the mental exercise is good for me and the other person's mind too. Try it
it really makes you think on your feet.

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