Notes on Aging in Place

REWIND THE WEEK – 20 June 2014

George Carlin's f-word-laced riff on old age was the show-stopper post this week in terms of visitor stats. Someone tweeted it and droves of readers turned up.

George's language wasn't much of an issue; most who commented loved the clip. Mage Bailey apparently came to George late in life:

”Delightful. I didn't much care for him when I was a young f---, but now days he is just what I need.”

Gaga Cheri's last paragraph in her comment had me laughing in delight:

Laughed out loud!” she wrote. “Can't wait to show this to my parents who are in their 80s. I think my father would agree that he is an old fuck.

“Colorful language has always been a part of my life and my family. We know when to use it and when it may offend.

“Just last weekend my 10 year old granddaughter and I discussed swear words. We agreed that stubbing your toe sometimes calls for more than a gosh darn.”

Although most readers are tolerant of George's colorful language, it appears TGB lost at least one reader, this one named Patricia:

”Wow! Unbookmarking this site. Funny how some people never grow up. Or maybe I should say, that don't mind being talked to from the sewer all the days of their lives. Wasn't funny then, isn't funny now...”

There WILL be more George Carlin on these pages in the future. He's too good and too relevant to ignore on grounds of "offensive" language.

The post on when middle age ends and old age begins drew the highest number of comments this week. Lauren didn't pull any punches at all in her opinion of people who deny their age:

”If you find old age abhorrent, maybe you’ll get lucky and have cancer take you out in your fifties or sixties. Cancer finds that age group positively delicious.”

As my years keep rolling by, I feel increasingly as Celia does:

”At past 70 I have come to see myself as an old woman, good day or a bad one and its okay with me. Aging has proved a more interesting process that I ever imagined. A bit of an adventure.”

Yes, an adventure.

Priscilla discovered that if you're patting yourself on the back about how well you're aging, look out for those grandkids who'll burst your balloon:

”I am 62, pretty active, don't think of myself as particularly "old". Last year my sweet 6 yr old grandson turned to me out of the blue and innocently said, 'You are old, Gaga, really old.' Out of the mouths of babes...”

Madeleine Kolb pointed out that no matter how sanguine and accepting we become about our old age, those pesky, younger ageists can be irritating:

”I do struggle, though, with the reactions of other people, mainly those who work in banks or doctors' offices,” she wrote. “The assumption seems to be that an old lady with white hair couldn't possibly know anything about computers.

“The coded question before discussing registration for the entity's website is, 'Do you have access to a computer?' I generally say, 'Yes, for the past 30 years or so.'"

And a shoutout to Elizabeth Rogers for reminding us that finding acceptance is a process, not always easy, that takes time:

”Kudos to those who accept the aging process willingly, but I'm not there yet. I totally recognize the fallacy of chasing youth via magic elixirs, potions and procedures (I haven't and won't), but I am trying to retain as many abilities as possible."

There are many more thoughtful comments on that post worth going back to read.

In yesterday's post, I took issue with a writer at the Minnesota Public Radio website who turned the tragic accident of a home fire that killed an old woman into a call for adult children to kick their parents out their homes.

I'll stick by my point that one terrible accident is not even the tiniest evidence that others should take decision making away from competent parents. Several readers disagree - quite vehemently in some cases. You can read about it in the comments here.

And finally, if you missed Peter Tibbles' music column last Sunday, titled Greyhound Bus, it's worth stopping by. Not a chance would I have guessed there are more than one or two songs about riding a Greyhound bus. But Peter knew better.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mary Mack: Grandfather's Pig


Thanks for the recap. I sometimes skip posts I think might be party politics or a type of humor I do not enjoy. That's the nice thing about can skip about. I feel sorry for the person who "threw the baby out with the bathwater".
We don't all think alike and that is one of the beauties of blogging....seeing what others are thinking or enjoying.
Glad you are blogging, Ronni.

Priscilla might be comforted to know that 50 years ago a 7-year-old boy exclaimed, "Gee, [Cop Car}, you're a strong old lady!" I got the same reaction from my Hunky Husband a couple of weeks ago when, because he had a couple of cracked bones in his wrist, it was I who got his new printer into the house, down the stairs, and set on his printer stand. Weight of the printer: 65 pounds. At age 76, it affirmed that I'm not dead - yet.

Good recap.

Love Carlin & his sass, however I'm saddened that the f-bomb has become so comman & apparently acceptable now. I hear that grade schoolers have no second thoughts about the word. Maybe I'm showing my age,(LOL)but if folks can't have an everyday conversation without peppering their it with foul language, I'm disappointed & would rather not hear it. There's a time & place for everything & it was ok for George back then but not with my 10 yr. old grandson & every TV show I may watch. Dee

Glad you directed me back to the aging-in-place comments. Found the one about losing one's "decision-making strength" and was greatly encouraged; I've noticed I have the same problem. Was absolutely frantic a few days ago trying to cope with a broken irrigation system, an overdue repairman I couldn't reach, a rapidly dying lawn, and the replacement of my washer and dryer. Two days later the repair man has come, the lawn is getting watered again, and the new washer and dryer will be delivered tomorrow. I'm feeling greatly relieved, but in the past it all would have been no big deal.

Re aging in place: If an old person is making lots of assistance demands on their adult child(ren), to me that means they are de facto ceding some decision-making rights/authority to those children regarding living arrangements.

On the other hand, adult children don't have the right to just swoop in unasked and issue fiats about how and where mentally competent elderly parents will live. We all have the right to assume some risk in our lives.

The "decision-making strength" discussion was thought provoking. I can see that some tasks that would formerly have looked like mole-hills are seeming more daunting as I get older.

This is spurring me to feel more urgency about simplifying my life NOW, before it becomes overwhelming.

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