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Rangie's avatar

Do you do everything you can to insure a healthy senior life?

Asked by Rangie (3656points) March 22nd, 2010

When I was young I didn’t even consider it. Why didn’t someone tell us of the future problems? I am 67 now, so you can figure out when I was growing up.
Oh yes, I was told don’t run into the street or you may get hit by a car. But, nobody ever taught me about the things we ate, drank or “smoked”. It just wasn’t an issue back then. At least diet should have been, but no, it wasn’t either.
Alright, okay, yes I started smoking when I was 17. Of course I became addicted like everyone else. As time went on, it became know just how bad it was. But, of course I had every excuse in the book, for not quitting. Although, secretly I tried to quit, but could not do it. When I was 49, I finally just quit cold turkey. Nothing else worked. But, I did have success with cold turkey. Two weeks later my beautiful, wonderful mother passed away. Somehow I managed to get through that without falling back. All of my annual checkups which included a chest x-ray, always showed clear no problems. It went on that way for 15 years. I thought I was home free. No such luck. A few years ago I started having asthma again, shortness of breath, etc. “emphysema” and I did it all by myself, “damn”. What a rotten shame I didn’t take charge of my own health a long time ago. However, I am helping a neighbor to quit. If I am successful, my permanent condition won’t be worth it, but at least it will take a small notch of guilt away. I have wonderful grandchildren, as does every grandparent, and a lot to live for as long as I can.
Oh, I am doing everything I can to insure my health as best I can, “now” for what it is worth. How about you?

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19 Answers

escapedone7's avatar

I’ll be surprised if I live to 40. I really do need to take care of my health better than I do. In particular I need to learn a lot more about proper nutrition. My bloodwork often comes back that I am malnourished, deficient, anemic. It’s awful.

Rangie's avatar

@escapedone7 , What aren’t you doing that you think you should?

Rangie's avatar

@escapedone7 , Do you live alone? What is going on, or would you rather not talk about you personal life in depth?

escapedone7's avatar

Yes I live alone. However I am not alone in life. I have a close extended family that is a large part of my life. I am trying to do better. I know I am going to have to.

loser's avatar

Just doubting I’ll get there.

Just_Justine's avatar

It’s quite odd you wrote this question, I woke up at 5am today worrying about retirement.

But anyway perhaps your “asthma” is in fact a late onset asthma and you would have had it anyway. (You never know). More and more people are wheezing and using pumps that don’t even smoke. It can also be brought on by a viral bronchitis of some sort.

I was born into a not so well to do family, my parents did not plan for retirement. I ended up spending most of my own pre retirement funds on them. Now I am stuck up a gum tree! I managed at one point to do very well. When I was in my thirties I was worth a lot. Due to illness etc., I lost it all. Now I wonder how the hell can I make up all those years financially?

I was also worried about my health too, we are on the same page. I need to stop smoking but I am battling. I will but not today.

It’s hard to go back and change things but not impossible. I hope!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I do.
It hasn’t stopped a few things from happening though ;)

slick44's avatar

Why worry about the things that i cant change, the harm is already done. might as well go out with a bang. Party like a rock star. and then take you vitamins.I do however take a low dose aspirin, fish oil, vitamin d, drink green tea with honey.I guess i want the best of both worlds.

msbauer's avatar

While I don’t know much about the physiology of aging, I do study the aging mind and what protective factors and/or intervention strategies buffer against cognitive decline like dementia. Fortunately with current neuroimaging technology this area of research is finally receiving concrete support specifically for “mental fitness” training programs and there are even labs trying to find a specific “neural signature” (i.e., pretty picture of what the brain looks like and how it behaves) that predicts successful cognitive aging. What I’m rambling about is that it’s not only the PHYSICAL decline people should be worried about but also the MENTAL decline. I don’t know about you but I’d take some asthma over Alzheimer’s any day! So what does research recommend?...Well there’s no singular answer except that staying mentally, socially, and physically active is the way to go! No surprise there? Well, sometimes it takes a researcher recommending it for us to take it seriously, and I think it’s easier as one gets older to slack off in one or more of those areas.

Some sources:

Schooler, C., & Mulatu, M. S. (2001). The reciprocal effects of leisure time activities and intellectual functioning in older people: A longitudinal analysis. Psychology and Aging, 16, 466–482.

Verhaeghen, P., Marcoen, A., & Goossens, L. (1992). Improving memory performance in the aged through mnemonic training: A meta-analytic study. Psychology and Aging, 7, 242–251.

Wilson, R. S., Mendes de Leon, C. F., Barnes, L. L., Schneider, J. A., Bienias, J. L., Evans, D. A., & Bennett, D. A. (2002). Participation in cognitively stimulating activities and risk of incident Alzheimer disease. JAMA, 287, 742–748.

Idknown's avatar

Thank you for your question @Rangie. You show a great heart in sharing your regrets to all with a mission to help others not share a similar fate.

When I was a bit younger… like 4 years ago maybe, (I’m 24) – I always said – I don’t want to live that long and deal with the issues of growing old. Obviously – did not seem like fun.

As I learned more, I learned that there are wonderful things to look forward to in your senior years, and that life is worth extending to see your grandchild graduate college, or some other significant event.

I am sorry I have nothing really to add to this thread, I just wanted to thank you for your advice and reminder for the younger, reckless reflections of yourself. :)

OpryLeigh's avatar

The things I do or don’t do now may benefit me in my senior years but I can’t really say that this is the reason I do or don’t do them. For example, I have never smoked and I don’t drink very much at all. This isn’t really because I am worried about the effects it will have on me in the future but more because I don’t like the taste of it.

Rangie's avatar

@escapedone7 , All I can say is don’t try, just do it. That is what I had to do to quit smoking. When we say we are trying, we are leaving an opening for excuses if we don’t stick to it. I know, because that is what I use to do. I was the Queen of excuses, so good at it, that I almost believed it myself.
We only get to do this one time, so let’s make it the best we can. We can choose to “do our best” or we can say, why did this have to happen to me? I don’t like complaining, whining, self-pitying people. I have a sister like that and I choose not to be around her, she is depressing.
So my dear, take control you will be happy you did.

Rangie's avatar

@loser , why do you say that?? And why do you choose the name loser? You don’t look like a looser to me. You are a person born with a brain and body to do what you want to with it. If you choose to give up and quit on yourself then I wouldn’t call you a looser, but I would say you will probably regret it later. Maybe you could take baby steps to change your impression of yourself. A good place to start is the gym. Go for it and I will be looking for your new name “winner”

escapedone7's avatar

I would say a huge huge percent of Americans don’t have a perfect diet, so I’m not the only criminal in the bunch. I don’t do drugs, don’t drink, don’t smoke, and at the moment I am even living in complete celibacy so I’m in no danger of getting some disease that way.

My biggest dangers to myself are my mental issues (every bridge looks strangely compelling) and my shitty diet. You can be sure both are closely related.

PS yes I spent the entire afternoon at a mental health clinic. I am trying. I just had a v8. blech.

Rangie's avatar

@Just_Justine , You know, loosing your money is not a good thing, but having bunches of money can’t compare to your health later in life. I have 2 homes, one at the ocean, and one in the mountains. I would give both of them up for my health. I want to get on the floor and play with my 3 year old grandson. I want to go running with my granddaughters, who are on the track team. When I was a young mother, I did almost everything the kids did. I broke my shoulder play football with them. For me there is nothing more important than leaving my kids and grandchildren with wonderful fun memories.
You don’t need to be rich to have a wonderful life. You need your health and a really good attitude. I would rather have a challenge of earning money than the challenge I am presented with today. But a challenge it is, and I not only can, but I will handle it with as much class and fun as I can.
Why not today? Maybe today is just the day. Have a ceremony, tear up all the cigaretts into an ashtray. Take a sniff of that horrible stuff. Look at it and realize that, that little pile of stuff is controlling you. Then I think you will realize how silly it is to be so weak to something like that. Throw it away, then throw away all of your ashtrays. Don’t be around anyone that smokes. Drink a lot of orange juice to help cleanse your system. Change you daily routine. It works.
Don’t wait, everyday counts when it comes to destroying your lungs.
Best of luck, let me know how you do.

Rangie's avatar

@escapedone7 , My diet isn’t perfect either, but I am learning. The diabetic thing is difficult to understand what I can or can’t have. But I will get it.
Now for that bridge. Perhaps you should go talk to a doctor, not a friend, they are not qualified. I found that out when my mother passed away. I just could not handle it, so finally I went to a doctor. I didn’t think that would help, he couldn’t bring her back. But, I was pleasantly surprised to realize I was looking forward to my appointments. He actually sat there and let me go on and on about what a great person she was. To me she was like a saint, as she was born on Christmas and died on All Saints Day. I can’t even think of anything she did that wasn’t of good character. I did realize she wasn’t a saint, but to me she was. I reached a point where I would be by myself and she would pop into my head doing something. I would find myself smiling and feeling good instead of sad.
If you can single out what is causing your issues and pick it apart with your doctor, so you see what a bridge is really meant for. But for now, please stay away from bridges. Find new life loving friends and join all of us in the beautiful sunshine, flower, and laughter.

Rangie's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille You know what they say “Sh—happens” And that is okay, because we are all capable of working through it. So happy to hear you are preparing for your senior years. If you can stay as healthy as possible, it will be easier to take care of yourself and be so much more enjoyable when you are older.

Rangie's avatar

@slick44 , You may not be able to undo what is done, but you may be able to lessen the effects and lengthen the life span. Partying is very over rated. I would rather run on the beach with my grandchildren than party anyday. But we all make our choices and live with the consequences. Just remember Slick, our priorities change as we get older.

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