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Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-25-2006, 06:22 PM   #1
 
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Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

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.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-25-2006, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Yes, indeed. This program is an eye opener. We have been caring for my mother-in-law (age 82) for several years. Three years ago we made the decision to put her in a facility that could provide the health care she needs.

I thought the program provided an objective look at the issues facing those of us who hope to live into our 80s or 90s.

The program is posted on the PBS web site.


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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-25-2006, 06:48 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

I haven't seen the program, but I've seen a couple 90-year-olds, and indeed, it is not for sissies.

From what I've seen of our relatives, better have enjoyed life by your early 80's at the latest.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-25-2006, 07:30 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Here's the link: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/livingold/

Living old (beyond 85) often requires medical care - not fun.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-25-2006, 07:41 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

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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.
Gosh, is it possible that Frontline was less than objective? Or were the active 90-year-olds too burned out by all the press coverage when they turned 85?

Here's a more cheerful perspective by people who blew past 90 to three digits.

Cut-Throat, are you worried that your life will be over by 90, or are you worried that your 90-year-old self will be unable to recognize what life is like over 90?
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-25-2006, 07:58 PM   #6
 
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Gosh, is it possible that Frontline was less than objective? Or were the active 90-year-olds too burned out by all the press coverage when they turned 85?

Here's a more cheerful perspective by people who blew past 90 to three digits.

Cut-Throat, are you worried that your life will be over by 90, or are you worried that your 90-year-old self will be unable to recognize what life is like over 90?
Actually, I am worried that I would be alive in that condition at any age! - I really don;t care if I died at age at age 72, as long as I went quick and easy. But living in the state that they showed on that program would be intolerable to me. With my last bit of strength, I would see that it did not happen.

I really don't want a link of a few 90 year old folks that are physically able to enjoy life. What I asked for was how many people that you see on a regular basis that are over 90?
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-25-2006, 08:11 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I really don't want a link of a few 90 year old folks that are physically able to enjoy life. What I asked for was how many people that you see on a regular basis that are over 90?
Look around you-- most Americans don't live in community housing with a wide spread of age groups like the Europeans or Asians do. Our neighborhood doesn't seem to lend itself to ohana housing, either.

I see plenty of aged veterans when I'm at the commissary & exchanges. Some of them LOOK like they're in their 90s, or should be. But the places I usually hang out-- our 17-year-old neighborhood, the surfing beach, and the dojang-- don't exactly attract a high concentration of 90-somethings. If you're not hanging out at the ol' folks magnets then you probably won't see them either.

All four of spouse's grandparents lived well into their 90s and possibly beyond. (Growing up in Russia, they lied about their ages so frequently they weren't really sure themselves.) Considering the abuses they'd endured during their life, especially the lack of geriatric knowledge/care, they were doing pretty well. I think you'd do better with 2040-era medical technology than they were doing in the 1980s.

Here's another perspective. Doug Bader went through an entire World War, including the Battle of Britain and a POW camp, without his legs and afterward lived a very busy & productive life. Stephen Hawking has arguably achieved at least as valuable a life. But if you're personally worried about limited mobility or confinement, at that age you probably have enough portfolio to buy a solution!

Maybe we should spend more time volunteering in senior's community centers or with Meals on Wheels. It could provide quite an interesting perspective.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-25-2006, 08:18 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

I don't know if this is where we want this post to go but I'll bring up my in-laws. They are both 85 and have serious mental issues. To me that is the biggest issue. All of my children have my permission to drown me in a toilet if I get that way. My youngest daughter tried to do the deed later that day (just kidding but she probably wanted to).

When DW and I shopped facilities, one of the folks told me that 50% of the people they have at age 85 or older have mental disorders.

When I see silly commercials about a 100 year old jazz musician, I think about the 32 others that think they are Dizzy Gillespie.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-25-2006, 10:28 PM   #9
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

I listened to a program on public radio this morning (Family Pharmacy?). They were inviewing an expert who had done research and written a book on happiness. The expert said the strange thing about happiness is that people in adverse circumstances are often the ones that find meaning in life. On the other hand, people who do themselves in are often in perfect health, seemingly with everything going good. The expert used conjoined twins as an example. That is, twins who are born physically connected to each other. Most people would think of this as a horrible situation but the expert couldn't find any conjoined twins that would change a thing. Every single one (or pair if you will) was satisfied with their life and wouldn't change a thing if they had a choice. He gave examples of several others. Christopher Reeve(?), the actor who played Superman and who fell of a horse and became paraplegic, was one example of someone who was happy in spite of his condition. So before you leave instructions on how you want to be disposed of when you're old, consider the fact perspectives may change. The expert concluded that happiness is a state of mind, not necessarily physical situation.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-26-2006, 08:48 AM   #10
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Christopher Reeve(?), the actor who played Superman and who fell of a horse and became paraplegic, was one example of someone who was happy in spite of his condition.
---------------------------
Not so sure how happy he was (now deceased). I believe he spent the bulk of his time searching for ways to recover from his injury. I heard him speak and he was convinced he was the one to do it.

OTOH, I read an article a few months ago interviewing several women who were over 100 and doing well, mentally and physically. Without exception, they all walked... I mean, a mile or two a day.

I've seen more than one or two over-80s that look like over-60s walking regularly in the park.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-26-2006, 09:15 AM   #11
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Of course, it is hard to determine the cause-effect realtionship between geriatric good health and exercise based on anecdotes and observation. It's very likely that only the healthier seniors are able to get out there and trudge a few miles. Are the ones we see walking healthier because they walk, or are the walkers we see out there because they are healthy?

I'm not disputing that exercise is good for you, though there's little doubt it does use up your lifetime allotment of heartbeats.
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-26-2006, 09:23 AM   #12
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Yes I did see it and commented.
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...topic=10660.15

I see 90 year olds nearly every day. They're wharehoused in a nursing home, waiting for the next meal, usually some 30 minutes or so before serving time. Or, they're prone in a bed out in the hall and say "help me." as I walk by. Or barfing in the sink. Having their diapers changed. It's not pretty and mostly undignified. My mother is one of the residents, although only 86 with Alzheimers. "I think I should just jump in a hole and pull the dirt over me." she says often. I would not consider her happy; just existing.

I do know some 80-year olds who are happy and busy. But none that I know are 90. Carpe diem.



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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week
Old 11-26-2006, 09:24 AM   #13
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week

I went on a ski trip last year to Western New York. The ages were me (57 then), another guy my age, his nephew who was in his mid-forties, a 65 year old lady, a 72 year old, and an 81 year old. I am not a bad skier but couldn't keep up with anyone except the 81 year old. He wasn't doing moguls like the rest but was a very competent cruiser. The best of the bunch were the lady and the 72 year old guy. They ski anything anywhere. Two guys not on the trip who are part of the same crowd, late 60's, both snowboard and one has been an instructor at one of the local hills for the past decade or so. All of them bike, hike, windsurf and kayak. I first hooked up with these folks going on twenty years ago and they were inspirational then and now. They all do things to keep fit year round and are all out fun hogs. There are a couple of 90+ skiers at our local spot and they also always know what day it is. Exceptional. None of these folks are fat, smoke or overly enamored with sitting around. Most of them drink a bit but the common denominator is a passion for beauty and the social aspects of these activities.

PS Jack Lalanne
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-26-2006, 09:34 AM   #14
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

My Mom is 82 and doing very well - still golfing and skiing. She has a group of friends she calls "the girls" 3 of them are in their mid 90s and going strong...
On the other hand her close, long time friend is 92 and has health issues - she tells my mom that she wants to die often - very sad
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-26-2006, 11:23 AM   #15
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

I think the program shows what the real situation is like for a lot of folks who made it to old age! It is a subject most of us would prefer to avoid; but won't go away.
Mortality and its inevitability have motivated me to make some changes in my lifestyle over the years. I stopped smoking many years ago and have stepped up my exercises and lost some weight. However, the quality of life issues mentioned in the Frontline program may be a stronger motivator as time passes.

I also know some 90 yr olds who are somewhat athletic; but, odds are against the majority of us achieving that degree of success at keeping all of our abilities to the very end. That's why Jack Lalane and Charles Atlas are famous!

I also knew some 60 - 70 yr olds who chain-smoked themselves to death or drank themselves into the hospital and beyond. I believe many of them could have still been with us if they had tried a little harder to improve their health habits. It underscores for me that I can choose to do things that will help my chances of living to a healthy old age.

Lots of folks won't tell their ages (or post them on this forum) at a time when getting older is "more acceptable" than ever before. That tells me there is still a lot of shame and denial associated with aging. Hopefully that will start to subside if we ever hope to address the questions asked in the Frontline program. If one quarter of our population is in assisted living facilities (or worse), grim consequences lie ahead!

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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-26-2006, 11:42 AM   #16
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
With my last bit of strength, I would see that it did not happen.
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?

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All of my children have my permission to drown me in a toilet if I get that way. My youngest daughter tried to do the deed later that day
But this brings up the other point: when it comes to ending it, you are on your own. My mom, who has been in the hospice program since last July, made it pretty clear that she "wanted a way to end it," but there's no way, of course, that anyone will help her.


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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-26-2006, 11:49 AM   #17
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

If someone is old and in pain and bedridden and expresses a wish to die, people start shrieking that s/he is depressed and needs treatment for depression.

Wouldn't being depressed be the logical state of mind in that situation?

There are something like 30,000 tube-fed dementia patients out there, "under restraint" so they can't pull the tubes out.

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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-26-2006, 12:57 PM   #18
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

Quote:
PS Jack Lalanne
Saw this guy a few months ago on TV -- dancing with his wife, swimming laps, etc. etc. The guy blows me away.

I think we have our answer right here, folks. We can seriously improve our odds of living to 90+ AND enjoying it, if we work out and stay healthy now.

I fully intend to start tomorrow...
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 11-26-2006, 01:00 PM   #19
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
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 that depends on your outlook for life. Some quit as soon as it's no fun (chronic pain) while others somehow hang on through endless suffering. If they think they're going to be rewarded for all of that anguish then I sure hope they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
If someone is old and in pain and bedridden and expresses a wish to die, people start shrieking that s/he is depressed and needs treatment for depression.
Wouldn't being depressed be the logical state of mind in that situation?
There are something like 30,000 tube-fed dementia patients out there, "under restraint" so they can't pull the tubes out.
Suicide is a sure-fire depression cure. So with that as a final solution, why not try SSRIs or some other treatment first? Depression may be the logical response but it doesn't do much to help recover.

Those demented people may not realize that the tubes are helping them stay alive-- just that they're an annoyance.

We have no idea how we'll react to our mortality when we're in our final years because we have no idea who we'll become. Even if we turn out to be the same person, the "you" we'll become could be too demented to recognize the "you" we were and may not want to end the suffering that we contemplate today. My grandfather's decade-and-a-half of senile dementia were some of the happiest years of his life...

Quote:
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As Larry Miller says, "And this time I really mean it!!"
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?
Old 12-11-2006, 11:58 PM   #20
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Re: Anyone see the Frontline report on Aging this past week?

My FIL is coming up on 91 next spring. He is still moderately active, drives his own car, lives alone, eats out 2X daily. He has a couple of drinks every evening, and has no major health issues. He used to walk the mall 6 days a week, but quit a couple years ago, after his wife passed away. I credit his healthy outlook on life to the fact he has a great sense of humor.
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