Eclipse Day Reveals Some Personal Changes
Being a Professional Patient

Are Children an Elder Hazard?

In the nature of callow youth, when I was a teenager - and maybe a young woman too - I noted with some disdain that the homes of old people I knew were often in need of a design update.

If the décor fashion of the day was Danish modern, for example, I felt a kind of contempt for the people who were not keeping up.

It's not that their homes hadn't been cleaned but threadbare upholstery, nicks on chair legs and permanent stains on table tops pointed up some shabbiness. Oh, my disdain knew few bounds.

I've noticed through the years that a lot of children can be as judgmental as I once was and on some reflection, I wonder maybe that it's okay – as long as they aren't rude about it.

It takes a long time to form one's tastes and discernment and young people generally prefer the new to the old – and maybe that applies people as well as furnishings for them (I THINK that's a joke).

And, of course, there are a lot of understandable reasons an old person's home can seem dated to the young. It's expensive to reupholster an otherwise perfectly good sofa and money is generally tighter in retirement.

My latest reason for not spending much time thinking about replacements for whatever is worn is realizing that it probably isn't worth the effort for whatever time is left to me on earth. (I THINK that's half a joke.) Here's an example of one thing I won't be replacing.

Deskleg

When Ollie the cat first came to live with me 13 years ago, from day one he used a leg of my desk to hone his claws. It was a new desk then and I was concerned about what he was doing. At least he wasn't shredding the sofa upholstery, I told myself, but it was a nice desk that he was ripping into.

When I asked a friend what she thought I should do, she had a couple of questions: Is the desk an antique, Ronni? Are you planning to leave it to me in your will?

No to both. And my friend said, “So why do you care?”

She was right and I have not cared ever since nor do I have any intention of replacing the desk even if there are young people who, like me at one time, would see the desk leg as a sign of senile neglect.

All that is leading up to a more serious issue with children, mostly younger ones in this case.

At the hospital where my surgery took place, there is a long, wide hallway between the check-in lobby and the exterior stairs. A nurse was pushing me in a wheelchair as we navigated that space on the day I was leaving.

I was still shaky, in some pain, and acutely aware of my sore midsection where the long incision is. As we moved forward, an old man using a cane with one arm while holding the arm of woman I guessed was his adult daughter, walked past us in the opposite direction.

Suddenly, two boys – maybe seven, eight or nine – ran full tilt down the hallway, brushing the old man's cane arm as they scooted by and then, making a course correction, nearly bumped into my wheelchair.

I don't recall any previous time when I was frightened in just that way. I immediately pictured myself and the wheelchair tipped over on the floor of the hallway, my incision ripped open with blood pouring forth.

Okay, perhaps I was being dramatic but I was hardly myself yet with the effects of 12 hours of anesthesia still muddling my brain. And anyway, in the circumstance it was not an inconceivable accident.

Then, just a couple of weeks ago while shopping at the Saturday farmer's market an almost identical situation took place: I was wandering the stalls when a couple of young boys, playing tag or running just for the fun of it, almost set me off balance as one of them brushed my arm in passing.

I wasn't as vulnerable that time as I had been in the hospital hallway, but it frightened me in the way that pretty much all old people are afraid of falling (as we should be at our age: one-third of Americans 65 and older fall each year. Some of them die from the fall).

These two almost-accidents are a new phenomenon for me. Before them, I had never thought of young kids as an elder hazard.

It is one thing for young people to ridicule how old people live in their homes – most of them, like me, will outgrow it. It is quite another for them to endanger the lives of old people - and you cannot help but wonder where their parents are.

In my case, I came to my newfound feelings of vulnerability via a massive surgery but in time it would have happened anyway with the normal debilities of age.

But I know that from this moment forward I will give all young children a wide berth. They are not safe for an old person to be around.

Comments

You are expressing exactly what my elder friend who I sometimes take care of has feared since a hip break 15 years ago: children will knock her over. She views her cane as a defensive prop. I am sure this is common -- and not unwarranted. Unconscious fast moving little people can be a danger.

Probably whether that sensible reaction extends to broadly disliking children in any particular elder depends on habits developed before kids come to seem a danger. My mother loved children, so when frail she worked hard to stand still around them and enjoy them. I don't have her instinctive delight among the very young, so I'll probably try to avoid ...

Ronni, a very insightful posting. Also, as you will be undergoing treatment for cancer, your immune system will be compromised. Children mix with other children and can be a haven for germs that may or may not harm them but that will be something you need to avoid.

I have friends who have to forego seeing their grandchildren when they (the friends) are most susceptible to catching any of the things going round.

Some folks here where I live have been concerned about small dogs and cats also -- little creatures they can easily trip over. One woman I know gave her cat away; sad time.

My mother had varicose ulcers at a time when there was really no good treatment, and she feared children being around her because it only took a light bump to start one up. I understand now that I'm unstable on my feet. Kids just don't realize that you can't change course as adroitly as they can, so they don't think weaving fast around you is a problem for old folks. As for cats, I thank the gods every day that Amber never gets underfoot. I got lucky in my choice of her (and she fears the walker!).

I saw this first on FB but I shared it from here. Children are not being taught about their surroundings among other things.

As for elders homes when I was young, I only noticed the musty smell. :-) When I toured historic houses, I noticed the musty smell. I could swear the other day when I came in our door I could smell musty wood and our house was only built in the 60's. :-)

Elder safety and consideration for same is but one of a multitude of questions as to where parents are these days!

Most of the parents of young children do not discipline them for bad behavior when in public. I blame the parents for children running in stores.

This reminded me of an incident that still irks me, When my now adult granddaughters were about the age of those boys we were standing in a long line waiting to get in an exhibit and they couldn't stand still for a moment and took off chasing each other like wild animals. Their mother did not say a word and I was terribly embarrassed when the girls came up to me before taking off again. My daughter was very sensitive about anyone criticizing her girls. I had no control as they didn't obey me when their parents were present.

I have noticed this, to me, lack of parenting with many other young parents and I don't understand why it is now acceptable to raise children that are allowed to do whatever they please with no thought of others. I suppose it's rebelling against strict parents of the past. The pendulum swings from one extreme to the other.

Now I am the crabby old lady and I realize that this post is off topic, but being reminded of this incident made me want to get this off my chest. I hope you will indulge me.

Yes, all sorts of dangers lurk when you are vulnerable and unsteady on your feet.

As a kid, I had an old maid aunt who lived with my grandmother.
For some reason, my father insisted on taking me with him when he went for his monthly visit. I loved my dad so I went dutifully despite the fact that I hated (too kind a word) going there.
Once there i was not permitted to touch anything.
Not the furniture, not the nick-knacks, the piano. Not anything.
I just sat there, quietly, for what seemed like eternity until even my father had had enough and it was time to leave.
Twenty years went by when my aunt died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage.
My father, my brother and I went to her apartment to clean it out.
She had the same furniture, the same piano, rug, chairs that i remembered as a kid.
I would be amiss if i did not tell you that I took a great deal of satisfaction in touching and going through everything in that apartment.

I am not at all averse to trying to stop young children from running and acting like they are on a playground when they are in enclosed spaces where others can be injured. I've been knocked down by a young person, and children have run into me at WalMart, Sam's, CostCo, and other such places while they are playing "tag." I'll usually try to stop them and tell them that they aren't on a playground and they are courting injury. I've had some parents thank me for the warnings; others have given me a dirty look as if to say "leave my kid alone." But I will continue to do so, and hope that some day parents will again start teaching their children how to behave in public and around others.

I was barely into my 60's when I had both hips replaced.
I chose to use crutches rather than a walker during my rehab. As I got steadier on my feet I "graduated" to using a cane.

As I began to improve, I often phone chatted with my 84 yr. old cousin, who had also experienced a THR .
Even today, I chuckle when I recall one conversation we had.

I told her that I had decided to attend a concert ( my first real outing since the surgery) and assured her I would take my cane along to steady me.
She quickly replied, " Don't use your cane, dear! Everybody at the concert uses a cane . . . . . Take your crutches ! "
She was SO right !

We all need a little armor from time to time.

Old people are more vulnerable, that's true. But they (we!) should be able to feel safe in their own environments, including the halls of hospitals. I'm more aware now, of the tearing around that children do and, while admiring their energy, I give them a wide berth. The 'modern parent' is disinclined to correct them in any way in public, and that is annoying, but a fact of life today. Actually, I don't think their behavior is so different today than it was a few years ago. My career involved young children, and I remember their boundless energy, and carelessness when running around. Mostly, I'm happy if they are healthy, well cared for, and friendly. I'd rather see that, than children who are neglected or abused!

I, too, feel much more vulnerable these days. I am not around kids much as I live in the depths of the country. So what bothers me a lot is not so much parents who don't discipline their offspring but dog owners who don't discipline their dogs.

Walking through the fields and along the footpaths here it is legally permitted to take one's dog off the leash but only if the dog is 'obedient to voice commands.' Unfortunately, that describes about one percent of the dogs around here but people let them run free anyway. I've lost count of the number of times some dog has come charging up to me and tried to jump up on me. I carry a stick and I often have to hold it out defensively or give the dog's head a hard shove.

Instead of apologizing, people just smile and laugh and say "He won't hurt you" or "She's just being friendly." Upon which I scowl at them in return and describe to them exactly how painful it is to have a leg ulcer that started with a scratch that didn't heal (which has happened to me four times).

It has gotten so bad that I can't enjoy a stroll through the woods any more. I feel forced to restrict my walking to the lanes, where dogs have to be leashed. And I really resent it.

That and rambunctious dogs ...
My mom can't travel anymore because even a simple bump can tear her skin and heaven help if she got knocked over.
Totally understand ~

I'm with Nancy. Being a former teacher, I have no problem stopping a child who is too rambunctious for their surroundings. I ask them, "what are you doing?" And if they answer "running" or "playing tag", I'll counter with "are we in a playground?" "Or, is it safe to do that here"? Then I follow up with "Is there anyone here who could get hurt if you run into them?" They stop and think, and realize themselves they weren't acting in an appropriate manner. I smile when they "get it", and usually ask them, "what else can you do here that might be fun?," and we have a conversation. They usually come up with a safe alternative themselves, and the parents are grateful I've distracted their kids for a minute. Then I don't have to be crabby old lady, just safe old lady.😀

My way of dealing with children running around is to do all my shopping during the hours they are in school.
Emily

I cannot recall any encounters with running children, perhaps because I'm such a homebody. But I have developed quite a fear of falling, if only because every time I checked in at the Cancer Center, their first question was "Have you fallen?" Since then I've become notably slower and less agile, which has only increased my concern. That, on top of having several aging relatives who've fallen more than once and broken bones in the process. I'm alone most of the time and that makes me very cautious.

I've also become very aware of having a weakened immune system, partly from aging and especially during cancer treatment. My son and grandkids don't come near me when any one of them is sick. And I avoid touching my face when I'm out, always washing my hands as soon as I get home.

They weren't safe to be around when I was in my 20's and 30's, let alone now that I'm older. They figure if they knock you down you'll just get up again like they do. So I avoid crowds and kids.

I agree, children and dogs can be a real hazard! Often they are just being what they are, but the result can be that we get bumped or knocked off balance. I will add inattentive cell phone users to this as well. We live in an arena with a huge skyway system where we walk daily. People weave their way quickly through crowds viewing phone screens and texting, never looking up. This happens on crowded streets, too. I can't tell you how many times I've been bumped into (hard!), and I've even had to stand still and wait for the impact because I could see it coming and had no where to move! I enjoy people and animals, but my radar is always up when I'm out and about. 😊

Since I was especially close to my grandmother (she was late 50s when I was born) I always liked the company of elderly people. Most times, I'd go out of my way to stop and chat with them, preferred more mature teachers, etc. Never much for young children, and chose not to have any myself. I do have 2 dogs, but NEVER allow them off-leash anywhere away from home.

My late husband was told before his chemo that NO children would be allowed to visit him -- and he'd have to be extremely careful afterward too, as others have stated about a weakened immune system.

One of my dreads is when I can no longer have a pet -- should I live that long. I've always had pets, primarily cats until several years ago when I added the two small dogs. I realize at some point as you age the frail factor comes into play, and you have to be careful. My dear grandmother lived to be 92, and the last years of her life her skin was so thin just a light bump against anything and it would bleed, cause a problem for weeks. I do think children should be taught to respect their elders, and use common sense out in public -- not tear through a mall or hospital/nursing home at top speed without regard to others.

Wanted to say I'm impressed by your ongoing blog posts, and how well you are doing, bringing up topics some of us have probably never thought about! Thanks so much and hope you continue to do well.

Rambunctious dogs... that struck a chord. When Molly was an adolescent pup--this was the spring of 2005-- we visited my dad. She jumped up and dragged a claw across his arm. He was eighty-two and got quite a laceration from the encounter. It was an eye-opener for me. My sixty year old integument was then quite impervious to that kind of encounter.

These days Molly is thirteen and not doing too much jumping and frolicing, but her partner in crime, Tessa, is only nine and Tessa likes to express herself by jumping up and spring boarding off me. I've noticed that a dozen years have thinned my skin a little and affected my balance somewhat. This makes it necessary for me to scold Tessa from time to time.

Then there's the cat. Skippy is a tripping hazard. Full of trust, he likes to nap on the floor. My job is to stay alert and not step on him, not trip over him, not lose my balance. I don't think a fall would be dangerous for me yet. I have strong bones. But I can see the day coming when being a push-over for Tessa, or tripping on Skippy will be hazardous to my health. I don't worry about Molly. I know right where to find her (on the couch) and I know what she'll be doing when I hunt her up (napping).

How did we ever buy into the "fact" that anything dated should be updated/replaced? That sort of thinking goes along with the idea that 7-inch platform shoes are a great idea etc. I know people who, when moving into a new house, bought all new furniture. I have dragged my grandmother's and mother's furniture pieces from one brand new house to the next since 1965. I wouldn't give up my old furniture for the world. (I did re-upholster a couple of chairs in the 1980s - as the upholstery had withstood more than it should have been called upon to do.)

As I expect my husband to outlive me by 15-20 years (based on our family histories), I am trying to keep repairs done to our current house. I insist upon a 15-20 year warranty on each thing as I know my husband will sit in this house as it falls down around his ears - without noticing. (He did that with a house during the 15 years we were apart in the 1970s-1980s.

Enjoy Ollie's handiwork. I join the "who cares" contingent.

We have a multiplex cinema down the street, with a wide revolving door. A bunch of boys crowded into one space of the door and pushed as hard as they could as an elderly woman was going through. She was catapulted out into the theatre lobby, ending up with a broken pelvis.

I was knocked down and injured by a young woman (20s or 30s) who apparently thought she had the right to power walk to work and push people out of her way.

Bottom line for me: Inconsiderate or unsafe behavior by anyone, at any age, is bad for other people of all ages.

I agree with everything everyone wrote. How about that? But I wonder if I am remembering my own childhood correctly. My siblings and I seemed to live in fear of most adults. Smart aleck talk, being sassy, disrespectful were addressed quickly that's for sure. That old "who do you think your talking to" syndrome.
Children today (at least to me) seem to be able to do whatever they want, when they want to, and say almost anything. The more impolite the funnier their parents seem to think it is.
Once a friend and her husband were leaving my house. Chatting for a minute at the front door. Their 3 children were already in the car and started honking the horn. The parents said right away "whoops we have to go" and promptly left.
After my husband closed the door he quipped "my Dad would never have stood for me honking the horn for him to hurry up would yours?". We both had a chuckle at how ridiculous the thought.
Another time we had the parents and their 6 year old twins over. There was so much pushing and shoving they broke our barely 1 month old expensive screen door. Of course, there was no offer to fix or replace. This was after they had been plunked in front of the tv and pushed so many buttons on the remote that it took a bit of time to get everything operational again.
Sorry this is a tad off topic but the other responses opened up the flood gates. I never had any children of my own so maybe that's why I find the ill behaved little devils so hard to often tolerate.

I check the location of our 3 senior kitties a little more carefully than I used to, but they don't move as fast as they once did, so it's unusual for them to dart in front of me unless they're really hungry. Other than that (and large dogs jumping on me which I try to avoid completely), so far I don't worry too much about falling.

I'm klutzier in a lot of respects than I used to be but seem to stay on my feet pretty well so far despite encroaching back problems. I'm not around kids much by design. I've never been a "kid" person--didn't have any of my own and have never been sorry. Like many TGB readers, when I was a kid, our parents were in charge!

Hadn't thought about the kid danger, but will now! The cat and dog danger is a daily thought or wee episode, but they're staying forever, no matter. The lovely 30 year old bedside rug, the one with the sweet bunnies, hollyhocks and other smarmy features, but somehow I love it???? Gone. One trip up, and I marshalled all my steely self preservation genes, and it is awaiting a new home in the recycling box.

But the updating of the sofa, cat clawed desk and other harmless, useful and beloved objects, I agree, is not necessary, even if viewed with disdain by some one with half our years, and therefore, of course, wisdom.

For me, it's a matter of "heads up" when out and about - and around the house too for stray chairs and cats.

Kids have energy and need to run and play, sometimes by our lights, inappropriately.

Eventually they will learn how to harness that energy, until then, they will continue to be occasionally obstacles . Other obstacles to our daily progress? Well, that's where it just pays to be as alert as possible and plan ahead.

So far, that strategy has worked for me. But when I fell down a few months ago (fortunately without lasting harm) it was because I got my own feet tangled up and it was my own blasted fault.

You can always take a cane. LOL They might consider you a menace then.

I've broken each of my arms in the past 5 years, so I gave away my bicycle and give both children and adults a cautious glance. No cane for me, but I often walk by people with arms extended in the possibility they back into me.

As to the desk, however, your cat's refinishing capability is stunning. That leg looks as if it's been sanded! My cat (named Alley, and I suspect you know why) has torn up both couch and easy chair in her effort to maintain finely manicured nails. I don't really care, although I've noticed I am more likely to meet friends at a restaurant or museum instead of inviting them to my home these days. Like you, I think purchasing new furniture is not worth the trouble. I may become one of those widows who live in empty rooms with only a recliner, a TV set, and a remote control.

Take care. Your wit makes me happy, and I'm grateful.

No kids running around here, and no pets allowed in this coop. I walk or take public transport wherever I go (most of the time), but I occasionally visit the Congressional Cemetary, where dogs can run free. No problems there. My only danger zone is getting into or out of a car. Fingers crossed. That said, I must observe that the fun starts when you get to be 80 or so. Remember to do your exercises so you have a better shot at keeping your balance. I have loved getting old, all things considered. Only downside is losing so many friends and relatives to the grim reaper.

Love your blog, TGB! Hang in there!!!

I usually ride an electric cart when I grocery shop if one is available. Otherwise, I lean on a regular cart for protection. Would it be to evil if I said that I don't worry too much about the kids who run wild in aisles? I'm the mad old lady zipping down the aisle so watch out, kids.

I look at some of the mothers of these kids and they look frazzled and worn out - (I shop at Walmart) - and on one level I sympathize with them; on another level, I think, lady if you had more control over your kids, life might be easier for you.

I think the biggest hazards by far are the ones we create ourselves... the items we leave on the stairs, the throw rug we stubbornly refuse to part with, the step stool we keep around "just in case", the illogical organization of our homes because they have always been that way, our refusal to use a cane or walker.
I think older adults themselves are the biggest elder hazard, and the ones we put at risk are ourselves.

Well! Quite a day for a new episode in what seems to be a latter day version of long litigated age wars. I found this whole discussion somewhat creepy.

If the children are not your grandchildren, feel free to fear, scorn and avoid them. In my
opinion, the more proximate dangers come from one's own children -- will they be there when needed? I was there for a mother whom I didn't like, who lasted until 96 and cast a long and longer shadow on my life with her longevity and increasing physical (but not mental) debility. I was there at the end, in my very late 60's. She was 96 and she asked me "What happened?" I replied, "You mean what happened with you and Dad and your children?" (There are seven of us, two certified mentally ill, one just incompetent and foolish, all 3 in need of support from us other siblings. She never liked our father, despite the 7 children; that original mistake constituted the nasty background music of our lives.) "No!" she said "I mean, what happened to ME!" So I told her, "Mother, you are dying." She sat straight up after being prone for many days before and said: "I AM NOT!" Well, what do you say? She died the next day, in total denial, ridiculing the offer of Last Rites in the religion she was totally devoted to. She was not in fact demented, she was just stubborn and invested in her improbable continued survival to the bitter end. In fact, she had no actual disease, no cancer, she was just fading away -- renal failure, they said. Not a nice exit, but I was not surprised. She had run out of money two years before, and her solvent children paid.

What does this have to do with fear of rugrats? Just this: that if you have children and/or grandchildren, you are lucky, because, whether they like you or not, they will most likely be there for you, paying the bills, showing up, taking care of things. So don't begrudge them children of their own. Perhaps your children can do better with their children than you did with yours. Of course, most of you did just fine, I assume. I realize Ronnie did not have children, but I speak to the rest of you. Children are the future and in a real sense, they are all that will be left when we are gone. So cut them some slack, OK?

Your concern is very real. Unfortunately, there are parents who don't teach their children running is for outdoors -- walking indoors. There are numerous reasons why this is wise and the problem you describe is just one of them. My opinion on this matter partly reflects my mother's teachings, the rest is just common sense from my perspective. This has been my view long before I had children of my own.

I think parents do their children a great disservice by not helping them learn how to safely -- for themselves and others -- move about when indoors -- that it's quite different from an outdoors environment. But even on a sidewalk, other confined quarters children need to learn how to exercise judgement for their own safety as well as that of others. Disabled, elders are especially vulnerable to bumps, pushes, etc.

I really get annoyed and did even as a young person seeing children of various ages running wildly through store aisles. I generally consider the adult with them at the store or mall to be at fault for not requiring these children to stay at their side

I have not hesitated in stores to sometimes give stern looks, or maybe a "no" head shake, or smilingly softly say, "hey.... slow down......", or "walk....don't run" , or "oops...." etc. as just some of the cautions I've offered depending on different kids. One of the first things children are taught in school is the walk/run concept, so they know -- even if their parents are what I consider negligent in not teaching and reinforcing appropriate behavior -- society is left having to do the job for them.

Even at just 46 I can't tell you the number of times I've used the phrase "it's not a playground!!!!!!!!"... sigh...

I see it constantly...no discipline....
And even when they do say something, the children know it's empty words, so they continue.

But other things come into play as we age too...throw rugs, curbs, a twist of the ankle.

I would not be too proud to use a walker if necessary as I sure don't want to be in a rehab or nursing home! It's all about being able to stay in your own home.

Ronnie,
I can totally relate to feeling vulnerable when walking around in public crowds. When I was 50, I had a stroke and although I recovered almost 100%, I still get off balance. After the stroke, I went back to work in an office at the Civic Opera building in Chicago Downtown area. As I was walking, a guy came charging out of the Staging side of the building and Knocked me down. There was no way I was capable of getting up on my own. I didn't yell at him but I kindly asked him to please help me up.
You have to remember that people don't always watch what they are doing. Children, of course, you may have to excuse but be extra careful around them. A good thing to watch yourself under all circumstances for awhile.

I do remember, as many readers do, being intimidated by adults and in awe of their authority. That was actually how I felt.

However, if we could consult those adults of the 40s and 50s, most of whom have passed, I'll bet they wouldn't recall us as little angels! We probably struck them as total out-of-control brats, despite "misbehavior" that would seem pretty quaint today. No children can help having energy, self-absorption, and bad judgment, because that's what being a child essentially entails.

I am sure what people fault are the lax-seeming parents of today, who do not immediately bring out the Victorian paddle at the first sign of "sass." Remember, though, that parents today have a great deal more expected of them. They cannot say, "Go out and play" and assume the kids will be (more or less) safe for long, unsupervised hours. They do not automatically send their children to the available public school--they can expect questions and criticism if they do. They must bundle them into incredible space pod contraptions for even the briefest car ride or face police scrutiny. They must make do with much higher expenses and far less economic security.

I can relate to the fear of being knocked down, though. We've all had (or dread) falls that came out of nowhere and resulted in injury. I exercise (even lift weights), take calcium pills, and hope for the best, even though I realize this won't protect me against many, or even most, hazards. Understanding that kids and parents today live in truly different times than we knew still leaves that unbounded energy and resilience of children a little scary.

I don't know how I missed this blog entry, Ronni. Been busy I guess.
I'm happy to read your return to advocating for elders and can totally relate to your impressions about young children and little animals as being potentially dangerous.
I've broken both hips, my foot (recently) my tibia, ulna and left thumb within the past 12 years.
I have osteoporosis.
This is why I shamelessly use the walker I purchased off Craigs List when I attend the many protest marches that have become pretty much the focus of my life in the past year.
A walker gives me much more stability than my cane. In fact there is a group of we older protestors, all around the same general age, who walk at the back of the marches with canes and walkers - we're slower and tend to group together for protection.
There's nothing shameful about using a walker, yet to younger people it's an instant sign of so many other things.
Thanks again for an insightful blog about a real life almost daily occurrence for we elders.
I wish Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden both subscribed to your blog! They need to hear what being a senior is really like!
Glad you're doing better
Elle

Oh. All my life I've been thinking of a walker as a device you have to have when you have trouble walking, or when you need to be able to stop and rest and sit. It just never occurred to me until now that it is also a defense!

A real AHA! moment. I will look at people using walkers differently now, and be much less reluctant to acquire one when it's my turn.

My spouse and I don't have children of our own, and none in our lives right now - the ones we have known and loved are grown up now, and haven't started reproducing. Yet. I actually love children although I do not understand, nor approve of, how they are being raised these days. Not that anyone has asked me.

I'm stuck on the beginning of your blog - the part about updating the living quarters. In our very early and just-turned 70(s), we actually just bought new living room furniture and rug. Love it! Re-framing and moving paintings around. Changing the window treatments. Next up is painting the kitchen cabinets white and the walls a pretty gray. That's "what they're doing now" as my grandmother used to say. Next spring we are having our outside deck replaced and updated.

Have we suddenly come into money? Not on your life. We just got tired of looking around us and being dissatisfied. We think these updates will prolong our life and certainly our enjoyment of it. One of us is disgustingly healthy and the other one (me) has begun a slow decline, but not in mobility, and we do not want to move out of our home. So as long as we're staying, we want to like our surroundings.

We have no judgment about other people's attachment to their old, banged up furniture and lumpen sofa cushions. I must say, though, just painting the trim in the dining room cheered us up, so we kept going.

Now we just have to update our wills so that somebody can have our new furniture some day in the not-so-distant future.

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