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Am I old yet?
Old 05-26-2014, 03:58 PM   #1
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Am I old yet?

There have been many lighthearted comments here about getting senior discounts, but I recently found myself thinking about old age because there have also been a number of comments about members planning to move to a Continuing Care Retirement Community at an age I consider too young for that.

I had the same feeling about five years ago, so I made the effort to go visit a couple of CCRCs that looked good to me (on paper). I spent two nights at both of them, and left wondering why I had ever thought that way. All the residents seemed old to me, meaning relatively frail and lacking energy.

Dont get me wrong; I still think planning a move to a CCRC is probably wise. I just feel Im nowhere near ready for it yet.

So the question is when do you become old? What Id like to know is do you have some kind of mental trigger point that says When Im __________, Ill be old.

A recent Pew Research Center study had some very interesting results:
  • Those under 30 said old age begins at 60, but those over 65 said 74.
  • Of those 65-74, only 21% said they feel old. Of those over 75, just 35% felt old.
A study in Britain found most defined old age as starting at 59, but those over 80 said 68.
Another British study found most defined it as almost 70.

Europeans on average said old age began at 62.

At 68, I still run 15-20 miles a week, and participate in at least two half-marathons a year. Im only in the middle of the pack for my age group, but I still enjoy it. I go fly-fishing, hiking, camping, and kayaking, all of which require a fair amount of energy.
So I think of myself as getting old, but not yet old.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:08 PM   #2
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I think I will not be old until the physical limits of my body exceed the mental limits imposed by my laziness. By that measure I probably have quite a few more years left.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:09 PM   #3
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I am almost 71 and still cut my grass, do all the car maintenance, work part time in the oilfield, and anything else I want to do. I used to be a serious long distance runner in my 30's and 40's but quit due to injuries. I walk a lot now.

I do not feel old and won't move into one of those CCRC's unless it's "time", whenever that is.

Some of my friends are old at my age (and less), but that's their choice. MY DW is falling behind though as she has COPD.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:29 PM   #4
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I think its more a question of do I feel old vs am I old yet. I can probably still out sprint some HS kids, and can hold my own in the weight room compared to others that are 20 yrs younger, nevertheless, I am starting to feel older in terms of balance, strength and memory vs just a few years ago.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:33 PM   #5
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So the question is when do you become old? What Id like to know is do you have some kind of mental trigger point that says When Im __________, Ill be old.
Nothing wrong with getting old. Sure as heck beats the alternative. What's the trigger that says "too old"? When cognitive function is declining or unassisted mobility is too challenging. Easy enough to say here, but as long as I can provide for myself I'd rather live independently. Get to and from the grocer, count my change, buy food and prepare my meals, take care of my own hygiene.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:45 PM   #6
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I don't remember what prompted it, but when she was 60, I distinctly remember asking my Mom what she thought it would be like to be 80? She replied, 'Oh my, I hope I don't live that long!' She is 92 now...and she's only run into significant physical problems in the last few years. Fortunately she refuses to be deterred, and just finds a way around whatever obstacles she's confronted with as they come.

Like others, what age each of us considers old increases as we age ourselves. And what age is truly old varies for each of us. I've known 90 year olds living full, active lives. And I've known people in their mid-50's who were physically and mentally old, rapidly going downhill, who passed away in the 60's or before.

As another stated above, to me old is not an age, but when I can't live independently any more. My 87 yo MIL lives in a very nice assisted living facility, but she is still miserable, as are many people around her. She has told DW, more than once, she doesn't want to live any more.

I started a thread on buying a mower recently, and some members my age (60) said they hired people to cut their grass. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever. But for me, I want to do everything for myself that I can, as long as I can - hoping staying active will extend my quality of life.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:52 PM   #7
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I don't feel old yet. I am 61. I recently saw a cardiologist and was told that I have atrial flutter. I asked him what could be causing this, so that I could try to change it. He glanced down at my chart and said that I don't smoke and that I am not overweight and told me it was because of my age. I am now on 2 meds and I don't know if it is my imagination or not, but I have been feeling slightly more tired now. I do not feel like I am ready for a CCRE yet. After reading a few threads on here, I was wondering the same thing after some replied that they were going to go into CCREs in a few years. What age are people planning on doing this?
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:53 PM   #8
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So the question is when do you become “old”? What I’d like to know is do you have some kind of mental trigger point that says “When I’m __________, I’ll be old.”
I do not know if there's a definite threshold upon crossing it I suddenly find myself as old. While I do not feel "old" as in my late father-in-law's "old" (he passed away recently in his 90s), but looking at my children I do feel old.

I do not stay up late, or rather can't. I find myself needing a midday nap more often. And before I tackle some big projects like a major car repair or home improvement project, I ask myself if I really want to do that.

I am not really "old", but a lot "older" than I remember myself being. I am more mellow, although I was never an aggressive type ever. I no longer care for speed (but that stopped even in my late 30s), drive more like a geezer does, and am more and more concerned about my health (when you are truly healthy, you do not need to think about that, like I didn't up till my late 40s).

So, I have been steadily going downhill, and forget the time when I was at the top physically (somewhere 20 to 25 years ago?). Man, I think I am closer to the bottom of the hill than to the top.

It does not answer the above question, because it is not a black and white issue, but about shades of gray.
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:55 PM   #9
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I remember something my mother told me as she got into her late 70s. That when she looked into the mirror she couldn't believe that old woman was her. She felt in her mind like she was still young and still had the interests and feelings of her younger self. I got the sense that this young woman felt strange in that old body. Even into her 70s and her early 80s she was studying genealogy and traveling around the world on her own to meet new found relatives. It was extremely sad for me and kind of sudden when old age finally caught up with her mind too. Something I guess I should prepare for too, but probably wont.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:30 PM   #10
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Nothing wrong with getting old. Sure as heck beats the alternative. What's the trigger that says "too old"? When cognitive function is declining or unassisted mobility is too challenging. Easy enough to say here, but as long as I can provide for myself I'd rather live independently. Get to and from the grocer, count my change, buy food and prepare my meals, take care of my own hygiene.
+1
Says it all.
As we near 80, we are well aware of the limitations of good health and a clear mind, and the decision to live in a retirement community was made with this in mind. Some years of integrating into the somewhat lower level social life was a trade off, as we have seen so many people with failing health moving into the nursing home... alone, and lonely.

On health... thats a relative perception, IMHO... arthritiis twinges, some polyneuropathy and some loss of muscle and strength are a small price to pay for being here...
With summer, am back to bike riding about 10 miles a day, canoeing for an hour or so, and struggling with the yard, seawall and the ravages of the winter season on our camp. Just did the oil change on the car, and will replace the brakes next week. Just takes a little longer, and requires more leverage.
The brain is not working as well, but then there are fewer challenges to sort through. Still making notes on this. A pleasant side effect of the oncoming dementia, is that the short term memory doesn't get clogged up with the nagging worries and anxiety that used to always be there. Easier now to make a note... out of sight, out of mind.

So... Am I old yet? Absolutely... and I revel in being old. Wonderful! Already beat the odds, and look forward to every day as a bonus. If it ends tomorrow, no regrets, but still lots to do, and another ten years would be very welcome.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:58 PM   #11
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I think there is no "trigger point". Like life, it is a process that has phases. I'm 64 and one of those who is planning to move to a CCRC in the next five to eight years. Yesterday we went on a zip line canopy tour. In his late 50's my father or in their early 60's my grandparents physically could not have done the walking and ladder-climbing that I did yesterday.

But I also realize that eventually and inevitably there will come a day when I cannot... (fill in the blank). Today I mowed most of the grass but left part in the back for tomorrow. There was a time when I would have just done the whole thing but I was getting tired, so it is creeping up on me.

Which is why I like the idea of the CCRC. My mother and a close friend's mother moved to CCRCs. They enjoyed it. They had the time and freedom to do what they wanted without the bother of home maintenance. Many here post of the attractions of a "lock 'n leave" condo - I don't see a significant difference, except that if/when I or DW do run into significant physical or mental health issues then help is readily available. The one CCRC have we toured so far is mostly independent living houses, and we saw people walking around and some running, the same as in any other community except that everyone is north of 60. Well, so am I!

All that said, it is still my goal to be shot and killed at the age of 95 by a 20-year-old jealous husband.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:26 PM   #12
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All that said, it is still my goal to be shot and killed at the age of 95 by a 20-year-old jealous husband.
... if your wife is not going to get you first.

And then, what's the chance of even meeting such a young woman in a CCRC?
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:53 PM   #13
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I think there is no "trigger point". Like life, it is a process that has phases. I'm 64 and one of those who is planning to move to a CCRC in the next five to eight years. Yesterday we went on a zip line canopy tour. In his late 50's my father or in their early 60's my grandparents physically could not have done the walking and ladder-climbing that I did yesterday.

But I also realize that eventually and inevitably there will come a day when I cannot... (fill in the blank). Today I mowed most of the grass but left part in the back for tomorrow. There was a time when I would have just done the whole thing but I was getting tired, so it is creeping up on me.

Which is why I like the idea of the CCRC. My mother and a close friend's mother moved to CCRCs. They enjoyed it. They had the time and freedom to do what they wanted without the bother of home maintenance. Many here post of the attractions of a "lock 'n leave" condo - I don't see a significant difference, except that if/when I or DW do run into significant physical or mental health issues then help is readily available. The one CCRC have we toured so far is mostly independent living houses, and we saw people walking around and some running, the same as in any other community except that everyone is north of 60. Well, so am I!

All that said, it is still my goal to be shot and killed at the age of 95 by a 20-year-old jealous husband.
Thanks for explaining Walt. You were the person that I was thinking of when I was writing above. I knew you were around my age and talking about going into a CCRC in a few years, but I had not really considered it yet. I consider myself too young. I guess that my problem is that I have never been to one. I certainly did not expect to see people running around. I need to visit one some day.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:47 PM   #14
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And then, what's the chance of even meeting such a young woman in a CCRC?
Oh, I dunno, visiting granddaughters? I'll hopefully be still riding my motorcycle out of the neighborhood at least once in a while!
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:50 PM   #15
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Well, if you outlive DW, have a young caretaker, and promise to leave the latter the estate...

If there's a will, there's a way.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:57 PM   #16
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Braumeister, just don't ask a teenager this question or they may give you an answer you don't want to hear. I'm 50 and don't mind the word old. I don't even mind looking or occasionally acting old...I just do not want to get aches and pains that make me feel old.


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Old 05-26-2014, 08:03 PM   #17
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I'm 58 and live alone.....


My Mom is 92 (93 next week!) and SHE lives alone....about 6 miles from me....SHe does everything but drive.....Still does the NY TImes crossword puzzle...

I know every day for her is a gift, but I hope to be just as independent when I am her age...

I have a single male friend, age 60, whom I've known all my life. He lives 400 miles away. We talk every day. He lives in his two family house, and owns another house that he rents out. He rents out the other apartment in the two family.

Our plan, after my Mom passes, is to live in the two family, he upstairs, me downstairs, and take care of each other. Neither of us has kids.

I guess I am saying I refuse to get "old". ! When I see what Mom still does, it amazes me. I know 70 year olds who are "old" but she does not seem old..

Of course, we'll see what life has to say about my plans!
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:16 PM   #18
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I will be 66 in a couple of weeks. I don't feel like I am declining physically; in fact, I can lift more weight than when I was younger. I don't look like I did when younger, but not many of us do. I do feel like I am getting a little more of the "get off my lawn" and "what's this world coming to?" attitudes, which I think are indicative of age.

My mother spent 28 years living in a continuous care facility, living independently for most of those years, so I don't happen to think that living arrangements have the slightest thing to do with getting old. In her case, living there was very helpful because she was not an INTJ and in fact quite a social person. She hated living alone after my father died, because she needed to have a lot of people around and events going on and so forth. That facility provided all that.

The older I get, the less attractive such a facility seems for me. I will probably live at home for as long as I am easily able to do so.
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:14 AM   #19
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I'm not old. Closing in on 59 and still run, hike, bike and workout like I used to but a little slower.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:47 AM   #20
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I find it interesting that so much of my life has gone by. It's hard to believe how long ago HS and college were! I'm 57 and fortunately still feel young and have many hopes and plans for the future. I do notice that getting up and out from under one of my cars or the tractor is a little more of a struggle . But I am still eager to do repairs and modifications to my machines and home. I am the more peaceful now than anytime in my life and enjoy simple pleasures more. I have friends that are 10+ years older than me and going strong, I tell them "they are my heros and i hope to be engaged in life like them when I get so old!"

Overall I am enjoying growing old thus far. The thought of having to "chase my tail" like motivated young folks do makes me appreciate this stage in my life.
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