Cataract Miracle
Elder Role Models

Being Good at Being Old

TGB reader chlost, who blogs at Just My Life, sent this video that in a kneejerk manner of many years at doing this, I bookmarked for Saturday's Interesting Stuff list.

But it kept pulling me back so I watched it again. And again. And then I realized that in fewer than four minutes it contains so many good-to-know things about old age, it deserves a page and a discussion all its own.

Take a look at Evelyn's story. Maybe watch it more than once. I'll see you on the other side.

Here is what makes this video an important reminder – and inspiration - to all elders:

• Retirement communities into which elders have bought and paid can take away services any time they want. (This is another good reason for the Villages movement in which members choose and deliver what they need and no outside corporation or group can cancel them.)

• Government agencies can revoke privileges based on nothing but age. More and more states are considering an age cut off for driving licenses without any consideration of or understanding that everyone ages at different rates and in different ways.

Ninety-seven-year-old Evelyn is a capable driver. Some 50-year-olds are not.

• Yes we can fight city hall (or the DMV) and we can do it at any age. Do not think otherwise.

• It is important to do everything possible to keep our promises to one another especially so because not all institutions and government agencies are reliable.

• Perhaps moreso than at earlier times in our lives it is important for elders to be there for one another because the older we get, the fewer of us there are to do the helping. We need each other.

• And no matter how hard it is to do any of this, remember to laugh and to laugh a lot. Take another look at the video and at Evelyn's wonderful laugh. This woman is really good at being old.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Nancy Leitz: I Might Have Known


Thank you for sharing this. It was heart-warming, inspirational and motivating.

Thank-you for sharing this inspiring video. I agree that we do need each other. Sometimes just knowing there are others to count on when/if we need them, can make our lives so much happier and content. Love the village idea. We live in an independent living apartment building but we have been helping other people here for years-and other people help us. My husband does everything from straighten out remote controls for people when they have pressed the wrong buttons-to changing light bulbs-and he used to take people to the store and doctor. Now we have no car so another person stops by when he is going shopping to see if we need anything. Some things just can't be covered by elderly services that are in place-we need to help each other. It does take a village I believe.

Loved this.

thank you
loved her laught...

did not edit :(
forgive me

As an independent resident in an assisted living facility I learned one thing in the last two years that I have been here. "If you don't watch out for one another, no one else will". No matter how good the facility is at "assistance", it lacks the genuine care and concern that can only be achieved when one looks out for his neighbor's well being. In this case of the elderly, it's OK to be thy brothers keeper.
As far as DWO (Driving While Old) is concerned, I think every driver should be re-tested at some regular interval, like pilots.

Nearing 70, I would love to be as lucid, active, and optimistic at 97. What a great model of old age!

Isn't she an inspiration to us all!

Love her spirit! It is so inspirational to this younger woman (81 and I thought I was old). Thanks for posting.

What a wonderful lady, an inspiration. Brought tears to my eyes. I suspect she has been like this all of her days. If anyone wonders "what is the meaning/purpose of life", this is it. Thank you for sharing.

It is always comforting to see a healthy 97 year old! They do exist. She is proof. Since she is so positive in her attitude, you do wonder what role that outlook has played in her health and continued abilitlies.
You also have to ask what kind of family and genetics and other blessed factors surrounded her during her long life and wonder if that contributed to her positive outlook in life. I would love to know more about her!

Great post Ronni, and thanks for the several head's up contained therein. Good examples of things that can be taken away without warning and ways to provide for each other in significant

I can't stop bawling. This is the best video ever.

Keep them coming, Ronni.

Every forward step for seniors is a kick in the butt against ageism.

Great piece, and terrific comments too..I am just a pup at just 73, still working three days a week..hope I can do it until I can't..or don't want to..I agree about driver's license stuff, we are valuable assets to the world and need to stay part of it...points out yet again what valuable asset is this column daily....thanks Ronni....

What a beautiful lady. I'd like to be like her when I grow up (in about another 10 years).

What a marvelous video. I'm inspired.

And the assisted living place where she lives is darn lucky that she didn't organize the residents to get the bus to the store back. I have a friend, now 95, who once did that. He did however get thrown out of one place they lived .. so there are risks to collective action. Still, that, too, can be one of our options.

This lady reminded me of a Seattle woman who, in her 90s, wrote a book called "I Like Being Old." I'm not sure if she's still with us or not, but her name is Eileen Allen and you can buy the book on Amazon.

Co-Housing is another way to go, where everything is decided by consensus. Evelyn is a great example of the way to happiness, is through giving.

She has such a great laugh. She'd be a delight to be around. Thanks for this post.

I turn 71 in about a month. Just a baby, apparently. Who knew?

evelyn is fabulous

Yes, I too feel very young now at 71 toodling along in my pickup truck. I wrote recently about my favorite like it is in a museum now.

That dear woman has an infectious laugh and a delightful eye on life. I hope to see the world like she does if I get to her age.

I really hate the segregation of seniors into these areas that have few services and you are helpless without driving. Maybe the solution is to learn how to buy your groceries online and get them delivered.

In my Canadian town the seniors residences are in walkable areas and the city provides "senior's special" buses to the shopping mall and grocery stores but they also have the local bus as well outside the door. Seniors here have free buses on Mondays as well.

Our driver's test which is required at age 80 has 2 dementia questions which weeds out a bunch of people that hide their symptoms well. But then again you aren't helpless here without driving. It's much safer on the roads this way.

I loved this! My mom is 96 and lost her license two years ago, not because of cognitive problems but because of her having macular degeneration. She is still feisty, and dresses well, makeup and all. She is my role model, if I make it to that age.

What a great attitude.

More power to this actively engaged woman who likes being 98. If we could all age as well as she has--including regaining her driver's license and living independently--getting old wouldn't be the "problem" it is for many elders. It's great that she's still giving back to the community at 98.

Although I wish it were otherwise, I think she may be somewhat of an exception in that she seems to have no major health problems and appears to have sufficient financial resources even at her late stage in life. She's an excellent example of what old people can be and do with (presumably) a healthy lifestyle, a little luck and good genetics on their side.

But we don't live in an ideal world, especially for older people. I know I'll probably get called out for saying this, but IF I had a choice, I'd still rather not be old in 21st century America!

Bravo!!! I am 57, just had a daughter leave to get married. I've been out of work for over 3 years and now am on disability. I struggle greatly with feelings of uselessness because of my age. This video has really inspired me to think about the possibilities of a useful, meaningful life in old age. Thank you for sharing this video.

The comments to this entry are closed.