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Getting old


Yenn
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I hear today that 119 people in Australia die of cardio vascular disease. Corona virus doesn't compare.

Talking to a friend today, who is in his eighties, as is his wife. She is in late stages of dementia, doesn't recognise him. She still thinks he is a young man and believes the nurses when they point out a young worker in the garden and say "there he is".

She has just had a cornea replacement and has perfect vision. Sadly the brain doesn't keep up.

It seems to me that the medical profession is all for keeping old people alive as long as possible. Never mind what standard of living they have.

I regularly hear comments along the lines of "I don't know why I am still alive"

So many old people are living an unhappy life, just waiting to die and I am not looking forward to being in that position. Especially when some of those unhappy ones are younger than I am.

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Dementia is certainly a terrible disease, and often, a long-drawn out, slow death. My SIL's mother suffered complete and total dementia between the ages of 83 and 93.

She might as well not been here in the last 10 years of her life, she recognised no-one in the family, and the worst part, like so many dementia sufferers, she got really angry all the time, in the later stages.

 

SWMBO has a friend whose hubby (85) has had steady, slow dementia for the last 5 years. She loves him and wants to care for him, but she's been failing to recognise she needed help with him.

She was running herself ragged, worrying about what he was up to next. He wouldn't sleep, he'd get up at midnight and start cooking or making cups of tea, or something else. She couldn't get any sleep herself.

Then she was terrified he'd wander off - but fortunately, he slowed down to a shuffle, so he can't go far. She sold their house and moved into a retirement village which has a care centre, so that helps her a lot.

 

Now his son and daughter have realised they need to help, so they've stepped up to the plate and spend 2-4 days a week with him, easing the load for his wife.

She rang the other day and she sounded so much better, because she's finally getting enough sleep, and has breaks from caring for him, and having to worry about him.

 

I have no intention of getting dementia, and no-one in my family has ever suffered from it, thank goodness. You need to practise walking upright ("head up and shoulders back!", as my old Sgt used to shout), and ensure you don't shuffle.

It's also important to keep interested, keep alert, and keep a range of friends that you talk to regularly. My old Italian neighbour Barney is 88, and he walks the block every day, still drives himself around, and is still interested in everything.

It's a great way to be in your old age, and I reckon if Barney ever gets sick, he'll just throw in the towel. My Mother did that, she got to 90, got a bit sick with mild 'flu, and then told me she'd had enough, and didn't want to be here any more.

 

She was fit enough, and the docs couldn't find anything seriously wrong with her. She just laid back in the hospital bed and continually closed her eyes, and just passed away, after 13 days in there.

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My father passed away with an Alzheimer's related disease. He would talk about things that happened 50 years ago as if it was last week. Mum and Dad lived in a small unit in Benalla. Dad would wander off down the street and the police would bring him home because he had lost his way. My two youngest brothers went to visit him in the hospital one day. When he saw them, he said, "Hello son, who's your friend?"He was 86 when he passed away.

 

My mother in law lived with us for a couple of years. If she managed to get out the door, she would go and hide behind a 6 ft fence at a house a few doors down the street. When she moved into a nursing home, we would visit her, she would call my wife by her deceased sister's name, and ask who the young man with her was. She passed away at 93.

 

My wife says I have dementia because I might go and do the shopping, bring home two bags of goods, but have forgotten to get the washing detergent or some other item.

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It can get to a point where you are completely "away with the fairies. Examination of the brain shows much deterioration accounting for it. Similar things with stroke of accident trauma. but not quite the same. Sad but frequent. Some unnecessary work is often done on terminal cases obviously for profit, but I hope that's minimal. When the burden falls on the Partner, alone, it can be horrendous.. Nev

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was on the roof cleaning gutters today and could't get down. I had used the short ladder because it was out, rather than the extension ladder. Called the wife who reluctantly fetched the extension ladder. She says that men over sixty shouldn't climb ladders, and that she is too weak to hold it for me despite her bionic hips. Says I will have to pay a MAN next time.

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I was on the roof cleaning gutters today and could't get down. I had used the short ladder because it was out, rather than the extension ladder. Called the wife who reluctantly fetched the extension ladder. She says that men over sixty shouldn't climb ladders, and that she is too weak to hold it for me despite her bionic hips. Says I will have to pay a MAN next time.

 

 

I think statistically men over 50 are over represented in ladder accidents. The advice is that men over 50 should not climb a ladder, Whilst I acknowledge the statistics my own philosophy is that over 50 could can still climb a ladder BUT you should do so with more planning and in a more slow and careful way. This is what I do.

 

I refuse to become a stereotypical old man

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My knees grind like a truck grinding its gears when I try to climb down a ladder, even a small step stool. And I have difficulty maintaining my balance on the three front steps, so I refuse to try climbing a ladder, regardless of abuse from SWMBO.

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Falls from ladders - involving all ages - represent around 5000 hospitalisation cases annually in Australia, and the figure is increasing each year. Males over 65 represent around 50% of the accident cases.

This statistic doesn't cover falls from height, that don't involve ladders - such as falling off a roof or out of a tree, after you've climbed up there.

 

Ladder stability is suspect at the best of times, and your balance deteriorates with age. 4-legged platform ladders are the most stable, but even platform ladders can be unstable, or become unstable.

I have a platform ladder, the platform is at about 2.5M. It's a very useful ladder, but I still take exceptional care with it (I'm 71 next week). I notice I'm not as good at heights as I used to be, so I don't go to the heights I used to go to.

(Fitting a new TV antenna to the brick chimney about 5 years ago, after we went to Digital TV, and then realising we needed a Digital antenna, was one of the hairiest climbing jobs I've done in years).

 

Small Cherry Pickers and Elevating Work Platforms are the way to go today, you can hire them for a reasonable sum, and they take away all the risk of falling off ladders.

I've invested in a good used fall-arrest as well, just to ensure I don't become a statistic. But increasingly, I now defer to younger men when it comes to running around on roofs, and climbing big trees.

Edited by Guest
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AND

Also it,s time to do my cars oil and filter change.

All waiting for Less aches and pains, so I can get Down under the Delica to jack it up, remove bash plates,

Then do that oil-change.

Checked the Pajero, And low&behold !

.428 Ks for 14 months driving.

I could have hired a Roller for the statutory charges it cost to have it sit on my driveway. ( even with pensioners rego )

No LoL.

spacesailor

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