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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 07:57 AM   #21
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I feel the same way, and I'm sure a lot of people do. So I'm curious about how common suicide is among elderly people. I don't hear much about it -- anybody else? Is it possible that we wil adapt to and accept our situation? Or is it possible that when we are faced with death in an immediate and concrete way, we'll cling to life more strongly?
I think there may be two things going on. First, it is likely that we will adapt to a certain extent. When you are twenty, it seems like you will never want to be without late night parties. When you are 50 raucous parties don't hold the same attraction (aging rock stars excepted). When we are too fragile to run we probably won't feel like running.

Second, I think the attitude towards suicide has changed in the past fifty years or so. In the past, the vast majority saw it as both a serious sin and a cop out. Catholics of my parents generation saw it as a sure fire ticket to Hell. A substantial portion of boomers and younger generations don't see it as either a cop out or a sin - just a possible choice in painful circumstances. Many of us have written directions to withhold artificial support in extreme circumstances. And many of us wish we had access to ethical euthanasia if we were faced with a prolonged painful death.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 08:11 AM   #22
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

My wife's great aunt Helen is 95 and still doing well. Lives by herself in a small apt, has an aide come in once a week to bring heavy groceries and check up on her. Goes out in good weather. I really admire her. She's got a great attitude, despite some hard parts of life (starvation in Warsaw as a little girl in WW1, then as a grown woman in WW2, then her husband had a brain tumor and ended up bedridden at home for 20 years). Doesn't look a day over 75.

A neighbor is 88. She is crabby and paranoid. Still lives on her own and gets around (with a driver -- thankfully she doesn't drive anymore -- her driver's license was yanked after the 4th accident in 2 years -- and that's been incorporated into her "everybody's out to get me" world view).

Lesson, if there is one -- cultivate a positive attitude now, so it will carry you into old age.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 08:40 AM   #23
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

My Granddad on my Dad's side of the family just turned 92. He gave up driving when he turned 90, but it was voluntary. His car insurance was starting to go up, and he really didn't drive much by that time. My Dad lives with him, and usually the only time he'd go out was with Dad.

You can tell that old age is starting to catch up with him, but he seems happy, and still gets around the house just fine. In fact, just last year, he installed a new water heater...by himself! He used to get up on the roof to trim the trees and put this waterproof stuff that he thinks helps preserve the chimney, until just a few years ago. We were worried about him being that old and getting up on the roof. No matter how healthy you feel, at that age a fall can still be devastating. And let's face it, you don't want to fall off a roof at ANY age!

I remember one day, in the summer of '05, I was going to stop by to visit him during my lunch break. I called over, and when nobody answered I was worried, because I know he doesn't go anywhere. So I drove over, and there he was, out in the front yard, painting the fence!

He's the only person I'm close to that's in their 90's, though.

My grandmother, on my Mom's side of the family, is going to be 83 in February. Her biggest problem is that her eyesight deteriorated due to macular degeneration, and it was the type that they really couldn't do anything about. She gave up driving in 1999, on her 75th birthday. Losing her license did upset her at first, but by that time she wasn't driving much anymore, anyway. In fact, about 6 months before she lost her license, when I was in need of car, she offered to give me her Buick. I'm guessing that was a sign right there that she didn't want to drive anymore. Losing the license, though, made it real for her I guess, although she did learn to adapt.

She's not alone, though. My uncle lives with her, and I live across the street. She also has a cousin who lives next door to me, so among us, we get her to her various doctors appointments take her out for grocery shopping, etc.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 09:19 AM   #24
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
90 years old did not look very good at all! - I started thinking about all the people I currently know that are 90 years old or older. - I came up with - None! - So, I was thinking how many people here see anyone on a regular basis (monthly or more) that is over 90 and where do they live and what do they do?

If I make it to age 90 and cannot Drive and I am confined to anywhere, I am not going to be happy. I have been on a deserted tropical island( with gorgeous weather) in the middle of a middle of a Minnesota winter and after a week, I am ready to leave!

Anyway this show showed some people in pretty dire straights! - Death looked much better to me than what these people had to endure every day.
My mother-in-law is closed to 90 years of age. She keeps herself busy with grandkids, cleaning the house, and cooking. She does not drive and depends on her kids to take her shopping. She does have minor problems seeing and walking over 20 minutes. She enjoys gardening, but the Minnesota winter puts a stop on that activity. I do not think that I want to stick around here when we finally decide to retire.

My mom is over 80 years old. She lives in a condo in Chinatown (the Bay Area), keeping herself busy with activities provided by the Chinese community. She enjoys walking alone the shore of the San Francisco bay. She does not have any problem getting around since the public transportation is widely available. Living in Chinatown is very convenient -- she can shop, buy grocery and dine in proximity.

My father, also over 80 years of age, lives in a nursing home - bummer.

The bottom line is that living beyond 90 years of age will be a challenge because of ailing health and physical disability. Take care of yourself and enjoy life while you can.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 11:18 AM   #25
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

I've been doing a lot of reading about aging over the last couple of years and it appears to me that stress has a lot to do with it. "Generally speaking", it would seem to me that many of the board readers who do retire early are definately increasing their odds for a healthier, longer retirement.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 11:31 AM   #26
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert the Red
Lesson, if there is one -- cultivate a positive attitude now, so it will carry you into old age.
I hear, almost on a daily basis, that I "have such a good attitude." I don't think you can change the attitude that you are born with by very much. I was just born happy. Maybe excepting my teen years.

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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 12:51 PM   #27
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Here are a couple of postings I made regarding my grandfather (set forth in full for the sake of convenience):

Quote:
My grandfather, who is going to turn 96 soon, goes through life with no real stress. He doesn't worry about the fact that:

--His computer doesn't work (or that he often can't figure out how to use it)
--My mother (his DIL) is constantly telling him that he forgets things (which he really doesn't, but that's another story)
--There is a war in Iraq (after witnessing WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I, etc... he simply shrugs)
--Politicians lie (and he's seen more than his fair share of them)
--Things are getting more expensive (he knows he can't do anything about it)

Etc...

Why? Because to him, none of it really matters. Only the simple things do. A good game of bridge, watching a special on PBS, taking a walk around the block, and a nice conversation are about all he wants to do these days. When he can't do these things anymore, he'll probably decide it's time to go. Until then, he will just go about his business.

My grandmother, who passed away at 96, had the same attitude. She was a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason, even if she didn't know why (as was the case 99% of the time). Although her mind began to fail at around 93, she wasn't stressed about it, probably because she didn't know it was happening. She lived a simple life, and that's all she wanted.
Quote:
My grandfather on my father's side is the last of my grandparents still living (he turned 95 this year). He still has all of his faculties, as well as significant physical strength and mobility. The reason for this I think is that he had to take care of his wife, who grew more and more of an invalid over the last 20 years of her life. He did all of the physical tasks from cutting the lawn to doing the laundry. He also continued to work in retail until about 5 years ago. Doing so probably kept his mind sharp/stimulated and allowed him to spend time around lots of people all day long.
Quote:
His father (my grandfather), is 96 and officially "retired" in 1969! Shocked He too has worked part-time every once in a while to keep his mind sharp and contribute a little to people who need his advice. As for his health, just the other day he was bored with his apartment, and decided to rearrange all of the furniture ... by himself!
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 01:11 PM   #28
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I feel the same way, and I'm sure a lot of people do.  So I'm curious about how common suicide is among elderly people.  I don't hear much about it -- anybody else?  Is it possible that we wil adapt to and accept our situation?  Or is it possible that when we are faced with death in an immediate and concrete way, we'll cling to life more strongly?
It is my understanding that elderly frail widdowed men who live alone have a high suicide rate, at least in the west.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 02:02 PM   #29
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

When I was 11 I was hit by an automobile at a school bus stop. I am now a paraplegic as a result. 42 years later, having worked 31 years in the auto industry, played in bands, married twice, 2 grown daughters, 5 grandkids. I have people come up to me all the time and in conversation say they don't know what they would do if this happened to them. Well I sure in the heck would have had the same response if someone had asked me 42 years ago the same question. But let me tell you all something life is for living. I thank God every day I get up. Will do that till the day I die. Eternity is not a joke. Don't go pulling the string just in case it gets a little rough. Life is rough no one said it wouldn't be. Just because 50 years ago the popular opinion of suicide changed I do not believe God is amused by it. And when you think in terms of eternity these 90+ years are a drop in the bucket.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 02:20 PM   #30
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kowski
When I was 11 I was hit by an automobile at a school bus stop. I am now a paraplegic as a result. 42 years later, having worked 31 years in the auto industry, played in bands, married twice, 2 grown daughters, 5 grandkids. I have people come up to me all the time and in conversation say they don't know what they would do if this happened to them. Well I sure in the heck would have had the same response if someone had asked me 42 years ago the same question. But let me tell you all something life is for living. I thank God every day I get up. Will do that till the day I die. Eternity is not a joke. Don't go pulling the string just in case it gets a little rough. Life is rough no one said it wouldn't be. Just because 50 years ago the popular opinion of suicide changed I do not believe God is amused by it. And when you think in terms of eternity these 90+ years are a drop in the bucket.
Great post, kowski. That should give the "Hemingway Solution" advocates a little something to think about...

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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 03:19 PM   #31
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Great post, kowski. That should give the "Hemingway Solution" advocates a little something to think about...

Not really. You would have to believe in a God who would create a Hell to be react to something sensible with a "fear of God."
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 03:24 PM   #32
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kowski
Just because 50 years ago the popular opinion of suicide changed I do not believe God is amused by it. And when you think in terms of eternity these 90+ years are a drop in the bucket.
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Great post, kowski. That should give the "Hemingway Solution" advocates a little something to think about...
Not really. You would have to believe in a God who would create a Hell to react with a "fear of God" to a sensible idea.

EDIT to add a note: I am only responding negatively to Kowski's last sentence. I appreciate the rest of his post. I hope I would have the sense not to pull the trigger if I suffered an accident that put me in a wheel chair. I (currently, and may change my mind in the event) contemplate suicide (assisted or not) only in connection with painful terminal illnesses.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 03:33 PM   #33
 
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

I'm wondering if god is amused at a 90 year old person lying in bed with all sorts of wires and feeding tubes hooked to them so that they can suffer live a little longer in this world.

We have been playing god for years in hospitals. Today committing suicide is merely opting to 'stop playing god'.

You call it suicide, I call it letting nature take its course.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-12-2006, 05:28 PM   #34
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, "How old was your husband?" "98," she replied. "Two years older than me." "So you're 96," the undertaker commented. She responded, "Hardly worth going home, is it?

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked. She simply replied, "No peer pressure."

The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs .

I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees , Fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. "Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Why Wal-Mart?" "Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week "

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker.

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief."

Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old because you stop laughing.


--- THE SENILITY PRAYER : Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-13-2006, 08:33 AM   #35
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
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Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old because you stop laughing.
Thanks, Billy. A laugh or two could really help this thread!
When it comes to death and taxes, we can't change it.
So a little laughter makes the pill go down a little easier!
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-13-2006, 11:18 AM   #36
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

On the original topic, I frequently see my grandparents who are in their 90's and my other two grandparents who are in their late 80's. They all live independently without invasive medical care. I wouldn't mind getting to their age in their condition one bit.

My favorite quote on aging is from Jeanne Louise Calment who, when asked on her 120th birthday what type of future she saw, said brightly: "A very short one."
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-13-2006, 01:40 PM   #37
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kowski
When I was 11 I was hit by an automobile at a school bus stop. I am now a paraplegic as a result. 42 years later, having worked 31 years in the auto industry, played in bands, married twice, 2 grown daughters, 5 grandkids. I have people come up to me all the time and in conversation say they don't know what they would do if this happened to them. Well I sure in the heck would have had the same response if someone had asked me 42 years ago the same question. But let me tell you all something life is for living. I thank God every day I get up. Will do that till the day I die. Eternity is not a joke. Don't go pulling the string just in case it gets a little rough. Life is rough no one said it wouldn't be. Just because 50 years ago the popular opinion of suicide changed I do not believe God is amused by it. And when you think in terms of eternity these 90+ years are a drop in the bucket.
I think this is a great post and I think there is much to admire about your life and your attitude. Until we got to the eternity part, then you lost me. If life is worth living (and I believe it is) then it is worth living on it's own terms, not because some meddler in the sky is going to reward you or make you suffer for 'eternity.'

Have you ever read the book of Job? When I read it, I got the distinct impression that God and Satan were really on the same side, tag-teaming it while they tortured this poor man. I was not amused. But God seemed to be. Just my $.02.

Like I said, I admire your attitude, and hope that I maintain a similar one throughout my life. I am grateful to be alive. For now. Not for eternity. Not for reward or for punishment. Just for life itself!
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-13-2006, 01:54 PM   #38
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

My sister-in-law's stepfather --- He is 97, uses a walker, still lives at home with his wife. Can discuss stocks and bonds with my DH, charities he gives money to, comes to all the family social functions. Inspirational, but probably not the norm. He was the only one at our last gathering that noticed my hair color was a bit different. Pretty sharp for 97....
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-13-2006, 02:19 PM   #39
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo2

My favorite quote on aging is from Jeanne Louise Calment who, when asked on her 120th birthday what type of future she saw, said brightly: "A very short one."
as I recall, she smoked a cigarette every day of her life.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-13-2006, 07:58 PM   #40
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

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Originally Posted by Billy

--- THE SENILITY PRAYER : Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

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