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When you are 75...
Old 08-31-2014, 10:17 AM   #1
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When you are 75...

DW and I are well past this age, so we can't look ahead to it, but we've been taking a retrospective look at what we thought we'd be doing at this age.

Some things are exactly the same as what we did 10 or even twenty years ago, but others... well, we had no clue!

Health has been better than expected, although we take more "pills", and we're very aware of the vulnerablilities of aging.

Our social life stayed very busy, up until the age 75 anniversary, but now is slowing down rapidly. Not an unpleasant change, but we become kinder to each other, and less involved in going out and interacting with others of our age. (maybe a little more selfish, and less willing to go along with listening to the problems of others, or doing things that we don't enjoy, just because it's a 'group' activity.)

Travel... We weren't world travelers, but we did many day trips, and week vacations. Now... sadly... much less interest. Long rides and time away from home comforts, lead to memories of "been there, done that!". This stay-at-home thinking wasn't expected. The afternoon nap isn't as easy to do when you're on the road.

Exercise... I still ride my bicycles and canoe, DW does "sit and be fit", and we both do "mall walking", but no regimen. We're in pretty good shape weight -wise, and with physical dexterity, but the arthritis that began 15 years ago, is creeping up, and accompanied by some peripheral neuropathy (for me), and some common but minor aging problems for DW. Jogging or senior triathalons are out.

Mental acuity... Our favorite expression "between the two of us, we make one person". The brain still works fairly well as far as reasoning, and the deeper intellectual thinking parts, but the short term memory and the multitasking that was once natural and second nature, is fading rapidly.

Energy... The spirit is willing, but the body weak. Tasks that were once picked up and accomplished as they appeared, now require analysis, and planning. That, perhaps, is the one part of aging that is most difficult in which to adapt.

All of the above... generalities. In looking ahead, in your case... what do you see yourself doing when you are age 75? Things that you do NOW, and what you expect to be doing when you hit that 3/4 century mark?

-Travel
-Exercise
-Going out to eat
-Social groups/memberships/activities
-Reading - watching TV (passive)
-Computer interaction (active)
-Volunteerism - service to others
-Time with family
-Hobbies
-Time spent in planning... money, home, long term
-Time at home vs. away... #hours/day
-W*rk... paid or unpaid
-Where you'll be living

The list is essentially endless. Certainly not something to dwell upon, and yet maybe worth looking ahead, to consider the realities of aging, and possibly to look at the forks in the road ahead. At least a peek at the future, maybe to mentally prepare for the changes that could happen, and at a time when coping might be more difficult than today.

Seventy-five is still young. We're "youngsters" in our CCRC. When you are living in an age qualified community, the frame of reference changes. We have some new idols... a 95 year old couple who have been married for 76 years. He, a natural guru, with a brilliant mind, she, a Bridge master, and both still enjoying some night life as well as weekly casino visits. And... they both still drive!

The sobering thought, is that to get to the age plateaus, you have to get past the "concentration of age".
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:13 AM   #2
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Thank you for posting this. It reminded me why I belong to this forum.
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:35 AM   #3
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Yes, thanks for sharing your experience. I'm pretty much of a being fully present in the moment kind of person, so I don't tend to dwell on any of that stuff. Everything is going well at 62. Fully realize that all could change in a heartbeat or do the slow grind down infirmity lane. Have planned as best as I can and am attentive to reality. Further on down the road...
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:08 PM   #4
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My husband is almost 10 years older than me- and at age 62, is already observing that he doesn't "bounce back" as quickly after physical projects. Our big driveway project had him taking a break from starting new projects for a few weeks after it was done. He finally started on the upstairs windows... but is finding he has to pace himself more than he expected. This was eye opening for him. He's very much a DIYer and has always had no problem... now he realizes he has at most 10 years to get his big home improvement projects done before he physically can't anymore. And he's a fit guy....

Our next door neighbors are in their mid-60's. They are trying to cram as much travel as they can in, while they're still mobile/fit. They were limited by the husbands schedule until he retired a year ago. I think they've been gone about 1/3 of the time since he retired. Again, both are fit - but feeling the impact of age.

I guess we all get older sooner or later.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:09 PM   #5
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I may be deluding myself, but I don't see any change at all when I hit the ¾ century mark. It's a good thing to think about, though.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:20 PM   #6
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I was just discussing this briefly with my mid-80's mom. She felt she was fairly willing to actively travel up to about age 75 but started to slow down after that. Dad was about 5 years older and well into Alzheimer's by then too, which would have been a big drag on doing new things at that point.

I had been thinking I might slow down at 70, but it looks like 75 won't be too bad. Plus DW is 5 years younger and will be pushing me.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the post. I have a couple of friends that have recently turned 70 and even though they are very active and health conscious, they have both suddenly had a rash of different medical issues. Makes me cautious as to my own health in my 70s.
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:34 PM   #8
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Thanks for the post. I need to stay focused on this subject or I'll endlessly go on with OMY syndrome. My opinion is that there are many things I want to do between age 60 and 70 that I probably won't want to or can't do after age 70. I continue with this internal struggle but am fairly certain I will exit the workforce early 2016 before turning 60.
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Old 08-31-2014, 02:47 PM   #9
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Got another 7+ to go to 75. I notice that I have no interest in doing air rolls for the past 2 years. Still like to do and get away with ju-jutsu falls. Travel, I've done abaut al I care to do by age 40. Living out of duffle bags and suitcases for nearly twenty years did that part in. Was never into the social gatherings, neither is DW, so the part is OK, save for some occasional dinners out with one or tho other couples.

Not looking forward to the slowing down physically, though I do know it is inevitable.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:51 PM   #10
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Still 30+ years away for me so I really have no idea. My parents are closing in on that mark, though and are beset by a handful of health problems. Dad still teaches a full load at the local college, but mom hasn't worked since her first kidney transplant in her early 60s.

I am glad DH and I are doing the rigorous traveling now, as I think it gets much harder as you get older. I will probably be a crazy cat (and dog) lady by the time I'm 75. I'd also like to think I'd be at peace with the decisions I've made to that point, and basically happy with where I am, health and finance wise.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:58 PM   #11
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I'll use my parents as a reference. Dad had his first signs of slowing down at about 77.5 when they got back from a long cruise and said it had almost been too much for him. He died within 2 years. So the ratio of good years to poor ones in his case was excellent - he was really only sick the last 9 months. On the other hand, Mom slowed down a lot in her 60s from arthritis. She got a bit stronger after a knee replacement at 68 when she started water aerobics as part of rehab and kept it up for about 8 years. Then Dad died and there was no warm water aerobics near where she moved to (and she didn't drive). So she slowly went downhill. Once she got past 80 she became more frail and we noticed more memory issues, but she continued to live mostly independently. When her dear friend (who was in her 90s) died when Mom was nearly 82, we noticed much less interest in doing things. After a broken shoulder in a fall last November, she had to go into a nursing home and truly lost her interest in living - she died in about 2 months at 83. In her case, the years from 76-80 (just after my dad died) ended up going much better for her than we would have imagined as she had been very dependent on Dad and we didn't think she would do well as a widow.

I think a lot of how things go for people in their 70s and 80s is the presence or lack of major health issues, and how well they deal with losing a spouse (I've known some people who died within a year or so after that).
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:02 PM   #12
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If you can catch it, tonight's "60 Minutes" is re-running that show about a group of over-90's. Don't miss it if you can.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:12 PM   #13
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My friend, if you had a blog post I would be an avid reader. I always enjoy your informative posts. Keep at it, as most of your responders seem to appreciate it as well. Your ability to express thought and organize it into something everyone gets meaning from is a gift. As far as I can tell your mental acuity seems to be sharp as a tack. Thanks.......
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:13 PM   #14
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Thank you for opening up a great thread. I watched my parents go through this and later stages of life. They never had the ability to talk about their feelings regarding age.

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Old 08-31-2014, 06:20 PM   #15
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75 was when my grandmother went downhill, although the warning signs were there a bit earlier. I was living with her from 1996-1999, in the wake of a bad divorce, trying to get back on my feet. I had taken on a second job, delivering pizzas. Well, one warm June night, in 1998, I got t-boned in the parking lot while on my way to take a delivery, when a teenage girl ran a stop sign and hit me full-force. The car got totaled, and I ended up being taken to an emergency room for observation.

I called my grandmother to come pick me up, but she was really vague, making excuses. I actually had to call the store and have them send a driver to pick me up the next time someone was in the area! This wasn't a full-fledged hospital, but rather, a place that shut down at night and kicked you out. So, I had a driver swing by and pick me up, and bring me back to the store. Then, one of my friends followed me home, in my U-shaped '86'ed Monte Carlo, to make sure I got there in one piece.

When my Mom found out about it, she was pissed. And she said that if anything like that ever happened again, to call her. Even 50 miles away, she would have come and got me.

Well, in the fall of that year, Grandmom followed me, one Sunday afternoon, when I took my car (another one, that Monte was totaled) to drop off for some work. Well, for whatever reason, Grandmom pulled up into the parking lot, didn't notice me, and drove off! I ended up having to walk home! Luckily, it was less than two miles.

Well, it turns out Grandmom's eyesight was failing, due to macular degeneration. And when it came time to renew her license, on her 75th birthday in February 1999, she couldn't pass the eye test and she became officially home-bound.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:24 PM   #16
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Imoldernu- thank you for sharing. Your thoughts and perspective are wonderful and much appreciated.

I am still many years away from 75 but thinking in terms of my parents, my dad was in almost perfect health until he turned 82 earlier this year. He went from being healthy and still doing cross country road trips to having majors health problems including 5+ different hospital stays in the past 5 months for stroke, kidney failure (twice), bladder cancer and high blood pressure. He seems to be doing pretty well considering all that has happened and is back to puttering in his garage a few hours a day.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:00 PM   #17
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Nice post. How much past the 75 year mark are you? No don't tell me your age - I need the mental exercise

I'll be 54 in a couple of weeks and 75 seems a long way away. But still - a very interesting thread to read. Thank you.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:14 PM   #18
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My Mom is 98 and she really slowed down after 90 . Before that she was still up for travel, dining out , movies and shopping but two years ago at 96 she broke her shoulder and now she is so frightened of falling that she really limits her activities . Mentally she is fine . She still does the daily crosswords and reads a lot . She still lives somewhat independently .She has her own apartment in an independent living facility with the option of more care as she needs it .
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
My Mom is 98 and she really slowed down after 90 . Before that she was still up for travel, dining out , movies and shopping but two years ago at 96 she broke her shoulder and now she is so frightened of falling that she really limits her activities . Mentally she is fine . She still does the daily crosswords and reads a lot . She still lives somewhat independently .She has her own apartment in an independent living facility with the option of more care as she needs it .

Your mom sounds amazing.


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Old 08-31-2014, 10:03 PM   #20
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Your mom sounds amazing.


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She is . She never drove so when my Dad died she got her driver's license at 65 .
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